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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

Target, target, target

Entrepreneurs are already reinventing their e-commerce Web sites to adjust to what works and what doesn't. For young Net companies building a brand as well as a business, the lesson is clear: target, target, target.

Court Lorenzini saw SharpShopper.com was broken, so he's trying to fix it.

Early this month, Lorenzini, CEO of Nth Dimension, pulled down the SharpShopper site and put up Wireless Dimension with both a spiffier look and a new revenue stream.

The change illustrates how entrepreneurs are already reinventing their e-commerce Web sites to adjust to what works and what doesn't. For young Net companies building a brand as well as a business, the lesson is clear: target, target, target.

SharpShopper began as a seller-supported referral site for buyers of consumer electronics products--TVs, stereos, VCRs, and so on. But it didn't sell anything. Instead, consumers went online, researched a purchase, selected an item, then were referred to a nearby retailer to place an order, either in person or over the phone.

It was a kind of e-commerce cheerleader, getting both buyers and sellers into an excited state without consummating a transaction online.

No more.

"Wireless Dimension customers can buy phones, services, and accessories online. We have enabled direct purchase channels through carriers to provide telephones and services," Lorenzini says. "Consumers can get a complete experience. When they put together a package they like, they can buy it, and it will be shipped to them."

The new model makes sense for all involved.

"The feedback was that the site doesn't quite take [users] half way," Lorenzini says. "'Let me buy it, then you've done me a big favor.' This is in response to strong consumer demand from SharpShopper."

Lorenzini's firm aims to bring out new "Dimension Select" sites in other consumer electronics categories, but wireless is a pretty good place to start--the market is growing 25 percent a year and spent close to $5 billion last year just to acquire new customers.