Stone Edge Technologies Inc., which provides e-commerce software to small merchants, is rolling out a marketing agreement with The Altura Network of Malls--CatalogCity.com and Shop.com--that will allow merchants to upload content to the malls without having to implement new technology. The Altura sites aggregate merchandise from retailers and display product images and descriptions. Shoppers can click on images and buy directly at the site.
Under the deal with Stone Edge, orders coming from an Altura site will be directed to Stone Edge’s servers, which will then process the order and download it to the retailer. Merchants will pay Altura $125 a month to appear on the sites and 15% of each sale. Merchants who already use the Stone Edge e-commerce software will pay $300 to add the ability to link to the Altura sites as well as $100 a year for up to 100 orders per day. The $300 fee will include a $100 credit for the annual fee.
“It’s a really cheap experiment for merchants,” says Barney Stone, president of Stone Edge Technologies. “The total risk is under $2,000 a year. Merchants can think of this as an advertising campaign.”
Gary Kennedy, vice president, Internet, of Secaucus, NJ-based Marty’s Shoe Outlet Inc., a chain of 80 shoe stores in the Northeast, says the arrangement between Stone Edge and Altura appears to be an inexpensive way for smaller retailers to gain exposure on the web without creating an affiliate marketing program. He adds that he thinks an arrangement like this may offer better exposure than an affiliate program because it allows the retailer to display product images on shopping mall pages. “You’re getting the physical product out there,” he says. “It’s all about your product; it’s not about your logo.”
Altura was founded in September 1997 and is partially funded by Bill Gates, Yahoo Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Altura also develops and hosts custom private label e-commerce systems for retailers.