Some retailers launched online deals well in advance of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
> Web Cash In Aisle 1
Cybermoola Inc. has forged an alliance with Catalina Marketing Corp. to make Cybermoola's prepaid Internet shopping cards available at supermarkets. Beginning April 2000 in certain West Coast markets, consumers can go to their neighborhood supermarket, take cash from their pockets and purchase Cybermoola cards, converting cash to Internet spendable cash without a credit card, the companies says. Cybermoola can be used to purchase music, books, clothes, sporting goods, electronics and other products at a variety of Web stores.
The alliance enables people without credit cards, such as teens, to shop online, says Eric Freeman, CEO of San Francisco-based Cybermoola Inc. Th initial test market focuses on the Western U.S., including northern California. Cybermoola says it will eventually be available to all 14,000 supermarket locations in Catalina's network.
Consumers purchasing Cybermoola at the supermarket checkout counter will receive a certificate printed from the Catalina Marketing Network printer that contains a 16-digit unique serial number. Each certificate will have a stored dollar value equal to the amount paid to the cashier and is activated by going to Cybermoola's Web site. Once activated, Cybermoola can be used to make online purchases at Internet merchants such as CDuniverse.com, , AccessStyle.com and others.
St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Catalina provides targeted marketing solutions for consumer goods companies and retailers. Its services are provided by interrelated operating groups that attempt to influence purchase behavior of consumers "wherever and whenever" they make purchase decisions. Through these operating groups, Catalina is able to reach consumers in-store using incentives, loyalty programs, sampling and advertising messages; at-home through direct mailings; and online.
Launched in September 1999, Cybermoola offers a payment mechanism in the form of a prepaid cash card that allows teens to shop independently on the Internet. The cards are available in denominations of $10-$500 and can also be purchased on the Web site, says Cybermoola.