Pressin' all the right buttons

Summary:A brick-and-mortar cellular-phone distributor faces special challenges as it went ahead with plans to adopt e-commerce solutions. Two years later, during ePhone's first Christmas season, on-line sales boosted revenues US$300 000.

The ePhones site went live in May 1999. "At first, the ePhones site didn't have that many customers. We were mainly just experimenting," observes Jalakandapura.

OneSoft earned between $200,000 and $500,000 from the ePhones engagement, including software as well as services. Based on the results, ePhones staffers claim it's been money well spent.

In August 1999, OneSoft implemented a new feature on the ePhones site known as Wireless Wizard, which lets customers do side-by-side comparisons of cell-phone models, wireless service plans, and other products.

"A lot of consumers don't know that much about the intricacies of the cellular industry. By using this feature, they can see which phones have browsers, and which rate plans are month-to-month, for instance," Jalakandapura says.

From May through August, ePhones' Web traffic skyrocketed by 82 percent, while sales shot up by 36 percent. That made ePhones optimistic about the critical holiday sales season. Most cell phones are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Topics: E-Commerce, Mobility, Reviews, Telcos

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