Retail Solutions briefs

All credit due to AmericasMart retailersUPS Capital, the financial arm of the United Parcel Service of America and AmericasMart.com, an Atlanta-based business-to-business online marketplace, will issue a MasterCard as well as an unsecured line of credit to retailers that purchase goods at AmericasMart's Web site.

AmericasMart is an online trading exchange that provides e-commerce services for wholesalers, manufacturers and retail buyers. www.americasmart.comFulfilment or bustInternet retailers will continue to be plagued by unprofitability because they have failed to grasp the importance of automated, integrated back office fulfilment systems, according to latest research from research company Gartner.

"Most Internet companies fail to capture the true costs of fulfilment and delivery," said Gartner's research director e-business services, Geri Spieler. "Many delude themselves into believing that their Web commerce transactions are profitable."

She said businesses must include additional back-end costs because of poor processes and third-party relationships in their profitability calculations.

"Bad word of mouth spreads faster on the Web than it ever did in the brick-and-mortar world," she said.

DVD bares its teeth

DVD distributors are luring buyers into the waters of the Internet, launching new Web sites to correspond to a particular movie's release in stores.

The most recent example is www.jawsondvd.com, which opened last week to correspond with the worldwide release of Jaws' 25th anniversary edition.

The locally produced Web site will feature information on the movie and message boards as well as footage from the original trailer, and links to the DVD user group Web site, www.dvdusergroup.com.au.

Free Net access leveraged to drive salesThe coming post-PC era is finding major brick-and-mortar consumer outlets using their giant customer base to create and own new Internet e-commerce channels.

Yahoo will allow their channel partners to offer customers free Internet access, supplied and managed by US-based ISP Spinway.

The expectation of increased Internet access via TV set-top boxes, as well as PDAs, has consumer giants targeting the rest of America, according to Lydia Leong, a principal analyst at Gartner's DataQuest.

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