eC-T Spins Localized Web

SAN MATEO (01/28/2000) - Defying the trend of faceless conglomerates, optimized supply chains, and the homogenization of the e-business marketplace, eC-T (e-Commerce Technology), a Web service company specializing in developing Internet-commerce strategies for local markets, plans to expand into the United States.

The company maintains that most shoppers, including small businesses, want to purchase from within their own communities.

Statistics seem to support the company's philosophy, as more than 75 percent of online shoppers purchase goods from stores within several miles of home, according to the Aberdeen Group, a market research firm in Boston.

Founded in China in 1998, eC-T has focused on allowing customers to "take advantage of Internet commerce, but still be able to shop locally," said Yong Yao, president and CEO of eC-T.

Overall, more than 150 of these domestic city e-malls have been built in the United States. Joining local chambers of commerce and local businesses, corporations such as Acer and Bank of America signed on to eC-T's OurCity program in order to penetrate the local markets.

Although 90 percent of businesses are in the small to midsize range and account for 47 percent of all sales, less than seven percent currently support e-commerce, according to Aberdeen research. That figure is expected to triple by the end of this year. With its e-commerce services, products, and platforms, eC-T offers these local merchants a means of reaching their consumer without digging too deeply into their own pocketbooks, according to eC-T officials.

"E-commerce isn't just about [being] Web-enabled or architected; it's about integrating all your channels -- community sites, affiliate sites, you name it ... There's a lot to be said for the physical channels, and they [eC-T] can help [them] build a web presence," said Kent Allen, an Aberdeen analyst.

E-Commerce Technology Inc., in Cupertino, Calif, can be reached at www.ec-t.com.

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