Market America will roll out an integrated e-commerce system Sept. 26.
Mark Brohan , Research Director
Six months after completing its acquisition of Shop.com for an undisclosed sum, Market America is now wrapping up phase one of a two-part technology integration project.
On Sept. 26, Market America, No. 61 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will unveil an integrated e-commerce system that gives its 3.6 million customers faster and easier ways to shop on Shop.com, a shopping comparison site. “When the platform goes live, all of our Market America shoppers will be able to shop both MarketAmerica.com and Shop.com with better navigation, an enhanced shopping cart and other features,” says chief operating officer Marc Ashley.
When the system launches, MarketAmerica.com and Shop.com customers will have access to more than 30 million products, faster product searches, an enhanced shopping cart that lets them purchase merchandise from participating retailers directly on the Shop.com marketplace and more content such as buyer guides and other tools. Market America shoppers also will be able to use their customer loyalty perks to make purchases on Shop.com, including the “Paid to Shop” program that awards customers 2% to 50% back on all purchases made on MarketAmerica.com and its sister sites, the company says.
“The biggest job during most of the past six months has been combining all of the customer files so that our customers can access their account information and cash back rewards on both sites,” Ashley says. “This was where we did the heavy lifting.”
The second phase of a two-part technology integration project will occur in the first quarter of 2012 when the old MarketAmercia.com platform will be shut down. After that the e-commerce portion of Market America’s business will be processed on the Shop.com platform and under the Shop.com brand, the company says. The second phase of the e-commerce upgrade will include new tools such as an auto-shipping feature and faster order processing for repeat shoppers.
“We will be working to always put the lowest-priced products directly in front of the customer,” Ashley says. With the integration of Shop.com nearly complete, Market America expects web sales to exceed $400 million in 2011, compared to $332.2 million in 2010, the company says.