Blueport Commerce launch to help 'considered' e-sellers

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Blueport Commerce, an e-commerce service provider for “considered” retail markets, launches today by the management team of Furniture.com to help those retailers create online sales opportunities.

A “considered” online retail market sells products that might be logistically hard to ship or products that are not well under­stood, such as furniture or flooring, as opposed to a book or DVD, explained Carl Prindle, CEO of Blueport Commerce.

“Businesses in these types of markets face certain challenges [selling online], and we are trying to help them,” he said.

The seeds of what is now Blueport Com­merce were planted in 2001, when Furni­ture.com began transitioning from simply a business-to-consumer Web portal to an e-commerce service provider.

“With the growth of considered e-com­merce and the opportunity for retailers it represents, the time is right for this trans­formation,” said Prindle, who has been with Furniture.com for 10 years.

“Furniture.com helped create the online market for considered purchases,” he con­tinued. “Blueport Commerce will leverage that experience to enable e-commerce for retailers who previously thought their busi­nesses were too complex to port online.”

Currently, around 1,100 sites use the e-commerce services provided by Blueport, Prindle said. Blueport also helps retailers with franchise or co-op models integrate their e-commerce systems in instances where brand, product offering and distribution are controlled locally by independent dealers.

“They may not be running the same sys­tems at their individual store as the parent company,” Prindle added.

The integration packages offered by Blue­port are designed to help retailers translate their legacy systems and offline business procedures into a tailored e-commerce ser­vice optimized for retailer's unique needs, processes and peculiarities, he said.

“I think we offer a unique set of expertise to help those retailers,” Prindle said.

Prindle said another reason for the full transformation into Blueport Commerce is consumers are now comfortable purchasing products in “considered” markets online.

Furniture.com will remain an online des­tination for consumers shopping for home furnishings as a portal powered by Blueport Commerce. A new Blueport Commerce Web site, www.blueport.com, also launched March 2, showcasing the company's service and technology structure.

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