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Software boosts online merchants

Snickelways Interactive will announce software that lets merchants target online promotions to specific individuals.

Snickelways Interactive tomorrow will announce software that lets merchants target online promotions to specific individuals based on their demographics, buying histories, and merchant goals.

MerchantView 1.0, now in beta testing and due for release by July, will be previewed at the Internet & Electronic Commerce Conference in New York this week.

"We are focusing on the merchants' view of e-commerce," CEO Paul Cimino said. "The software does the work and helps merchants easily determine how the Web can help increase profits with each sale."

Initially, MerchantView will be part of Snickelways' ComForce e-commerce platform and online ordering software, but the company plans to turn its marketing system into a plug-in for IBM's and Microsoft's merchant server software.

"Right now, the people controlling electronic commerce tend to come from technology or the MIS realm," said Cimino. "The computer is coming out of the back office and becoming a marketing weapon."

MerchantView takes into account four elements in a merchant's decision about a Web storefront: company goals, customer preferences, customer buying and shopping history, and day-to-day market trends. MerchantView lets a Web store dynamically price products to specific customers based on those factors. The system also includes an override feature so merchants can add promotions outside those parameters.

Pricing has not been set for MerchantView, but the ComForce software sells for around $30,000. The company also markets SalesCast, a push technology built into client software for use as a marketing tool in marketing to businesses in manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution.