Kurt Peters , Executive Editor
* Software utilizes US Postal Service rate engine
* AIship(TM) resolves shipping charge issues -- the #1 reason for failure to complete online purchase process
WORCESTER, Mass., March 26 -- Sales Online Direct (BULLETIN BOARD: PAID) www.paid.com, today launches AIship(TM), the first solution that calculates accurate package shipping and insurance charges for multiple carriers, including the US Postal Service (USPS), in real-time. AIship utilizes the USPS` postal rate engine to generate accurate shipping values. AIship`s unique patent-pending proprietary technology provides online auction sellers, retailers and consumers with instant calculations for shipping, packaging and insurance costs for multiple carriers. The calculation occurs immediately when the item is placed in the cart, rather than at the end during checkout. A demo of AIship is available at http://www.auctioninc.com/info/page/ship_calculator and a video news release is available at http://easylink.playstream.com/buddyscott/paid/promo300.wvx (for high bandwidth stream), http://easylink.playstream.com/buddyscott/paid/promo56_100.wvx (low bandwidth stream).
"Jupiter Media Metrix statistics show that 63 percent of online shoppers back out of a purchase when they see how much they have to pay for shipping and handling," stated a recent article in CRM. "The high cost of shipping -- and the almost surreptitious, last-minute manner in which it is sprung on the shopper -- is one of the major customer complaints about online retailers."
Shipping is an extremely complex part of any business, and online retailers and auction sellers often lose money trying to anticipate shipping fees. Companies using flat rate pricing for orders that are oddly sized, bulky or heavy are frequently not aware that carriers require extra shipping fees. In certain circumstances, the seller will be charged additional fees for special packaging, extremely valuable items requiring extra insurance or for packages shipped to distant destinations.
"U.S. online commerce sales were more than $43 billion last year, but could have been even higher because nearly two thirds of potential customers didn`t complete their online orders due to shipping cost concerns," said Greg Rotman, Sales Online Direct CEO. "AIship solves these huge problems by keeping a running tally of shipping, packaging and insurance costs as items are selected."
AIship computes shipping costs based on the destination zip code, weight and size of the item. Using the retailer`s preferences, the system can include packaging, labor costs, sales tax and insurance so that the consumer can get accurate, real-time shipping and handling charges.
AIship is quick and consumer friendly. Customers simply enter their zip code when they begin shopping. As items are added into the shopping cart, or via phone, AIship instantly recalculates the shipping, packaging and insurance costs. The lowest carrier with combined shipping and insurance fees appears first, with additional shipping options available in a pull down menu. When shopping is complete the customer clicks on the preferred method of shipping, AIship populates the invoice with the shipping charges and carrier information and the consumer pays for the purchases and shipping charges in a traditional manner.
"In addition to the consumer benefits, AIship offers significant savings to online auction sellers and retailers," said Richard Rotman, Sales Online Direct CFO. "AIship eliminates the typical series of emails or phone calls between auction winners and the customer service departments regarding shipping details. At our Rotman Auction subsidiary, implementing AIship reduced correspondence per month related to shipping from 20,000 calls to 3,000, reduced order processing staff by 30% and saved on average over $2 per package."
The AIship solution has the following features/benefits:
-- Calculates shipping cost and insurance for multiple carriers, including U.S. Postal Service, based on package weight, value and destination;
-- Provides side-by-side price comparison for multiple carriers;
-- Allows for consolidation of multiple orders going to a single destination to save money on shipping;
-- Calculates cost for packaging and labor required based on carrier selected;
-- Easily integrates with existing shipping manifest systems to automatically upload daily shipping information to the carriers.
AIship is available immediately. Retailers and auction sellers using AIship will pay a small transaction fee to Sales Online Direct for each completed order that utilizes the shipping calculator. Retailers and auction sellers can register for AIship at http://www.auctioninc.com/. Larger retailers that would require integration with their back office systems and web sites should call the Sales Online Product Sales Dept. at (508) 791-6710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Sales Online Direct
Sales Online Direct maintains and develops portals and web sites for various companies and industries. The Company has focused its efforts on the antique and collectible industry, developing websites that enhances the user`s experience. Through web-hosting and managed services, Sales Online Direct has provided e-business solutions to many different companies including their own Rotman Auction division. Rotman Auction, an eBay Gold Power Seller, sells tens of thousands of items per year through auction, direct sales, and special events. The Company has developed the AICommerce suite of software to increase revenues and reduce overhead through sales on the Internet, and offers these essential e-tools to other companies that they host. Through recent initiatives, Sales Online Direct is establishing itself as one of the most important collectibles portals, online auction services and technology providers to the collectibles industry. Further information on the company is available on its web site, http://www.paid.com/, or by calling (508) 791 6710. The Company`s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol "PAID."
Accentuate Inc. (for Sales Online Direct)
US Postal Service Public Affairs Coordinator
This Press Release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that are based upon current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events, including matters related to the US Postal Service and the Company`s operations. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements and the assumptions upon which they are based are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations and assumptions will prove to have been correct. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward- looking statements, as these statements are subject to numerous factors and uncertainties, including without limitation, successful implementation of the Company`s business strategy and competition, any of which may cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the statements. In addition, other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are discussed in the Company`s most recent filings, including Form 10-KSB and 8K with the Securities and Exchange Commission.