Yahoo! Boosts Small BizE-Commerce Offerings

E-Commerce mega-portal site, Yahoo! announced on Wednesday that it is adding services targeted at small businesses in search of entry-level e-commerce solutions. The new offerings augment Yahoo!’s existing small business solutions, and indicate the company’s emphasis on e-commerce driven revenue as a major part of its business development strategy.

“Yahoo! recognizes the need for a set of services to address the demands of growing numbers of small businesses and merchants that want to use the Internet as a channel to reach new customers,” said Tim Brady, vice president of production at Yahoo!.

Businesses can access any of Yahoo!’s small business solutions through its “Build a Business Online” area on the front page of Yahoo! Small Business.

Yahoo!’s expanded e-commerce lineup now includes the following components:

Yahoo! Site — This new service offers businesses a quick way to create a Web site and immediately begin marketing their business online. For $29.95/month (US$), individuals have up to 25 Mb of storage space to create a Web presence hosted by Yahoo!, using a proprietary site-builder tool. Additionally, the service provides a suite of tracking and reporting tools that provide businesses with comprehensive information on how their site is doing. Yahoo! Site also offers an easy upgrade path to Yahoo! Store for those businesses interested in conducting commerce transactions online.

Yahoo! Store — Launched in June 1998, Yahoo! Store offers merchants the ability to instantly create, publish and manage secure online stores to market and sell goods. Merchants can create their own store for $100 to $300 per month, depending on the size of their inventory. Yahoo! Store also features a complete suite of tracking and reporting tools that provide merchants with extensive data about traffic and income sources.

Yahoo! Business Express — For all commerce-enabled, online stores, Yahoo! Business Express offers express consideration of their Web site for inclusion in the main Yahoo! directory, for a one-time, non-refundable fee of $199. Additionally, Yahoo! is offering a $500 bundled promotional package exclusively for Yahoo! Stores. The package provides each store with a one-week promotional text link for their store under the “New Featured Stores” area on the front page of Yahoo! Shopping, plus participation in Business Express.

Yahoo! Connected Office — With Yahoo!’s new Connected Office service, small companies can create their own internal communication hub and intranet that includes private communications tools (i.e., message boards and chat), a shared company calendar and customizable business news and information. Using Yahoo! Connected Office, businesses now have a centralized, password-protected location on the Web where employees can share information and interact with each other.

Yahoo! Small Business — This Yahoo! property was launched in August 1998 to provide useful tools and relevant information for small business owners. Yahoo! Small Business features general small business information, products and services, including package tracking for Airborne Express, Federal Express and UPS; industry news and business coverage; editorial content from leading business publications; and tips and weekly highlights relevant to small businesses.

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