AOL to upgrade shopping services

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America Online plans to launch Shop@AOL, its new online shopping venture, this summer. AOL will build Shop@AOL on an HTML platform, rather than using its proprietary technology, which marks a departure for the online service. It also will be deployed on Netcenter and CompuServe later this year to build Shop@Netcenter and Shop@CompuServe.

AOL will centralize its merchant partners' products for consumers to purchase through a more user-friendly storefront. The interface will integrate new features, including personalized buying guides and an upgraded Quick Checkout, which will enable consumers to send transaction data directly to merchants' sites. In related news, Patrick Gates, formerly of the Home Shopping Network, has joined AOL as VP-e-commerce. Mr. Gates will oversee Shop@AOL and other AOL e-commerce initiatives.

Copyright May 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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