It’s THAT time again. Whether they’ve been naughty or nice, Billy still wants a “Radio-Controlled R2 D2,” Chrissy won’t face her school friends without “Dentist Barbie” in tow, your sister is restless for the Simon & Garfunkel CD boxed set, and your husband is dropping hints about a new sand wedge.
The holiday crunch is on. You can battle your way through traffic jams, people jams and bad weather, or you can do it the easy way — use ShopFast ( ) — a convenient, new online shopping solution, where the gifts you need are a click away.
The ideal solution for holiday hassles and gift-buying procrastinators, ShopFast is the new interactive retail “hub,” where online customers can quickly and easily browse through an upscale collection of brand-name catalog “boutiques” from the comfort of their own computers. The ShopFast environment consists of a carefully chosen family of upscale “storefronts,” to appeal to a broad range of consumers, with additional brand-name marketers enhancing the site daily.
Currently, ShopFast’s roster of sites includes: Simon & Schuster Interactive; Collectors’ Choice Music; Competitive Edge Golf; TeleFlora; Critics’ Choice Video; Toy Factory; Repechage Cosmetics & Skin Care; de Granvelle Chocolate; Style On Line; Kosher Grocer; and Discount Travel, among others.
“ShopFast was created to save people time, money, and a whole lot of headaches,” says company president and co-creator Ronny Yakov, an 18-year veteran of the communications and graphic arts industry. “Jumping from retail site to retail site on the Web can be as frustrating as elbowing your way through crowds at the mall. With one click, ShopFast delivers high-quality online catalogs directly to a user’s fingertips. Our superior sites, combined with our high-speed connection, has made this holiday shopping season a pleasure, not a chore.”
Customer Convenience & Security
Customers visiting ShopFast can rapidly access storefronts of interest, where they can examine different products, access special offers, and add their purchases to an “online shopping basket” which automatically takes them through a secure check-out process. The exclusive, proprietary ShopFast Cashier(TM) offers four payment options to suit the personal preferences and comfort levels of each customer. Customers can order online using their credit card; they can sign online electronic “checks” (both of these options are fully protected by ShopFast’s cutting-edge encryption software); they can access an 800 number for each site, where they can place their order over the phone; or they can request a customer service representative from the selected sites to call them back to make the transaction.
Industry Growth/Consumer Research
The arrival of ShopFast comes at a time when the online retail industry stands poised for explosive growth. “Online shopping is going to be bigger than anyone expects, no matter what kind of projections they’re making,” stated Andrew Kantor, editor-in-chief, Internet Shopper. “It’s going to blow people away in the next five years. It’s going to change the face of commerce, business, and even international politics — in ways we can only guess. If you think the fight between Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble is big, just wait.”
Projections by Forrester Research estimate online retail sales reaching $1.14 billion in ’97, $2.3 billion for ’98, and a skyrocketing $6.6 billion by the year 2000. User figures are exploding, with most analysts estimating that there are presently between 35 and 50 million users online worldwide; by year 2000 that figure is expected to skyrocket to between 163 million and 1 billion users online.
According to Internet Shopper Magazine, of an estimated 45 million Internet users in the United States, between 35 and 40 percent of them have made an online purchase, or between 15.75 million and 18 million people. Worldwide estimates predict that by the end of 1997, about $1 billion worth of consumer transactions will have taken place (approximately $300 million during the holiday season alone). By the year 2000, between $40 billion and $60 billion worth of consumer transactions will take place on the Internet.
A recent survey of online and Internet households by NFO Interactive found 55% of respondents made purchases via the Internet in ’96, with 89% of online holiday shoppers indicating that they were pleased with their interactive shopping experience, and 58% planning to do more in 1997.
Headquartered in New York, ShopFast ( ) is a division of leading communications services company, ColorBank Digital Sources, Inc. ShopFast is a commercial Internet development partner that creates and operates customized direct marketing Web sites for manufacturers, distributors and retailers. It currently consists of 12 online retail sites, with a projected total of 18 high-quality sites by end of year. ShopFast uses its expertise in electronic commerce setup, transaction processing, and online marketing to help clients effectively sell their products and services on the Web.Details