CatalogCity Offers Insurance Against Downtime

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CatalogCity.com will introduce a service next week at the Direct Marketing Association's 18th Annual Catalog Conference that will allow its catalog clients to redirect traffic to CatalogCity.com when their Web sites are out of service.


"It enables brand merchants to continue to take orders if they have any serious outage of service to their Web site," said Chris Flannery, vice president of marketing at CatalogCity, Monterey, CA. "For a lot of companies, hours and days can be measured on the Web in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. The Internet is kind of a here-in-the-moment medium, and if someone is in a buying decision and your Web site is down, consumers may go and buy from your competitors during that time."


Flannery said the service, dubbed Web Insurance, helps catalogers continue taking orders because CatalogCity, an online mall for catalog shoppers, features a cataloger's entire database of products. CatalogCity's storefronts also have a look and feel common to the cataloger's own site, he said, and the company's logo is placed on the upper-left-hand corner of the page and features its toll-free number for phone orders.


Web Insurance is free, Flannery said. Companies would pay a percentage of sales made on CatalogCity, which they normally pay anyway, he said.


The company has not surveyed its catalog clients about Web site failures and resulting lost revenue, Flannery said, but some companies have mentioned recent Web maintenance problems as a result of high traffic.


"This was really more a case of us seeing a problem in the marketplace and coming up with a solution for it," he said.


Altura International, CatalogCity's parent company, powers the technology.


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