SAN FRANCISCO (05/17/2000) - Fledgling online businesses can get help finding their e-commerce wings at a new Web site that provides the tools they need, including transaction processing.
NoMatterWare Inc. also can set up businesses to accept credit cards online. The e-commerce clearinghouse has contracted with the major credit card companies to process transactions for its business partners using the same merchant accounts the partners use in their brick-and-mortar operations.
The prices are not intimidating. For $30 monthly, you can deploy all the NoMatterWare pages you want, with no limit on storage, traffic, or the number of units sold. For $50 per month, NoMatterWare becomes your site host. And $100 monthly activates credit card processing, although the company requires an 18-month commitment for that service. A 14-day free trial period is also available.
NoMatterWare offers an impressive suite of tools for assembling a site where you can sell products or services. It provides a selection of build-it-yourself components, including templates and programs to handle tasks.
Once you settle on a design template, you can populate your site with structured components that do most things that you commonly see on Web sites.
You can build pages with product lists and tabular information, For example.
You can include photos of your products, services, and staff, and provide a page of background information about your company. NoMatterWare's tools also help you set up a FAQ page for potential customers.
Other templates guide you to build a calendar of events your company is organizing, and even craft a page to recruit new employees.
Choose Among Mini-Apps
The site components NoMatterWare offers are not simple text blocks or HTML objects. For example, the events calendar can link to a ticket-selling module that tracks the number of seats available for an event. You can designate when event listings show up on the calendar, and when they disappear. You can also set product prices to change according to a schedule, and generate electronic coupons.
A bulk e-mail component can link to a database of contacts that you group and categorize. Then, when it's time to distribute a press release or product announcement, you pick which groups or categories of recipients should receive the message. This is one of the few places NoMatterWare assesses an additional charge: Sending batches of e-mail messages to groups of contacts costs 10 cents per address.
The NoMatterWare engine has a component for fund-raising operations that can take donations and issue receipts. Other components support selling electronic documents, including software, and another feature conducts online surveys.
NoMatterWare's architecture permits you to link from a Web site hosted by your own Internet Service Provider to objects created and processed on NoMatterWare's site. Or, the company will house your site for you, as well as help you build your online storefront.