September 2, 2009, 12:00 AM

Channel Intelligence buys e-commerce technology assets from Vcommerce

By acquiring key assets of e-commerce systems company Vcommerce, Channel Intelligence will extend its e-commerce platform offerings in such areas as order management and fulfillment.

Channel Intelligence Inc., a provider of e-commerce technology that connects retailers with manufacturers and an online ad network, has acquired assets of e-commerce systems company Vcommerce Corp. that will extend Channel Intelligence’s offerings in such areas as order management and fulfillment. Terms were not disclosed.

Channel Intelligence will use the Vcommerce assets to operate a new wholly owned subsidiary in Phoenix, AZ, to provide online storefront, order management and fulfillment technology and services to retailers, manufacturers and publishers across several vertical industries, Channel Intelligence says. The move will also increase Channel Intelligence’s customer base to 235 companies, with more than 25% of them among the top 250 online retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, the company says.

Paula Rosenblum, managing director of research and advisory firm Retail Systems Research LLC, says the extended range of products and services from Channel Intelligence should prove attractive to retailers and manufacturers. “Providing the ability to locate a manufacturer’s product in a channel, take the order and then fulfill it is an impressive array of options,” she says. “Not every manufacturer will choose this approach, but for those who do, Channel Intelligence offers a one-stop-shop.”

The acquisition of Vcommerce’s Storefront e-commerce platform, however, may present a challenge for Channel Intelligence in the crowded and competitive business-to-consumer market, says Janet Sherlock, a retail industry analyst at research and advisory firm AMR Research Inc.

Although Vcommerce has served both b2b and b2c markets with its Storefront e-commerce platform, in the past several months it has said it was focusing its Storefront business mostly on specific b2b opportunities while concentrating its b2c efforts on order management and fulfillment, she says.

Channel Intelligence, based in Celebration, FL, works with manufacturers including Black & Decker, Panasonic Corp. and Motorola Inc. and retailers including Best Buy Co. Inc., Target Corp. and Ice.com.

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