Ziff's 'Computer Shopper' to bow on Web with NetBuyer

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Ziff's 'Computer Shopper' to bow on Web with NetBuyer

Ziff-Davis Publishing Co.'s Computer Shopper will extend the direct marketing opportunity it offers in its 17-year old catalog-like monthly to Web shoppers this fall with a shopping site called NetBuyer.

The site, scheduled to launch in early October, includes more than 170 vendors selling close to 40,000 products online. Smart Technologies, Austin, Texas, enables the site for secure transactions.

Insight Direct, NEC Technologies, Gateway 2000, Computer City Direct, Delaware Computer Center, PC America and Samsung America are among the dozens of direct tech advertisers and retailers sponsoring the site.

"As a channel that accounts for about one-third of the ways people use to buy their product, we think direct will be strong in this marketplace," said Al DiGuido, executive VP-group publisher of Computer Shopper.

25% OF SALES ARE DIRECT

Less than 10 years ago, direct sales accounted for 10% of computer sales, but according to 1996 data from San Diego-based Computer Intelligence/InfoCorp., direct sales are now responsible for 25% of computer industry sales.

Marketers can buy a banner on the site, set up listing pages profiling various product models as well as run special promotions on the site. While NetBuyer guarantees secure transactions, vendors handle the customer's choice of delivery services and credit card selection on the fulfillment end.

Banner prices range from $1,850 to $7,200 per month for 12-month buys and from $2,770 to $10,800 per month for smaller schedules.

CUSTOM-DESIGNED INPUT TOOL

Listing prices vary with the number of products being advertised by the marketer. Vendors choosing to sponsor their own pages are equipped with a custom-designed input tool that allows them to update product offerings, prices and specifications.

The site's search technology allows users to search for 16 product varieties by computer type, price range and software platform. Users can also link to more than 11,000 reviews from the last 18 months of Ziff-Davis magazines including, PC Computing, MacUser and Windows Sources.

$2 MILLION CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT

The site also allows users to compare products and request updates on price changes--for example, requesting the site to send e-mail notification if a product becomes available at a certain price-point.

A $2 million print and online campaign created in-house will support the site's launch. Ads will run in newspapers and Ziff titles as well as appear online through the last quarter of 1996.

Copyright September 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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