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Buy.com launches Wine.com online store

Buy.com, an online retail marketplace, launched a wine store January 5 with fellow Internet retailer Wine.com. The partnership will allow Buy.com to offer about 1,500 new products.

“Our data shows that the more categories and selections we offer, the higher the conversion rates and customer satisfaction numbers,” said Jeff Wisot, VP of marketing at Buy.com. “One of the top categories customers were interested in, based on the feedback we received, was wine and champagne.”

Buy.com had been looking for a partner wine retailer for more than a year, said Wisot. The company spoke to several retailers and ultimately decided on Wine.com, he said.

Wine.com tried to partner with a general Internet retailer but hadn’t actively pursued any ventures due to complex state shipping laws that restrict where and to whom wine can be sent, said Rich Broad, director of merchandising at Wine.com. Buy.com met this criteria, he said.

“This partnership allows us to reach a customer base with a slightly different demographic than the customer base on Wine.com,” said Broad.

Wine.com was integrated into the Buy.com marketplace in several weeks, a relatively short turnaround time for a partnership of this kind, Wisot explained. The integration launched in beta “several weeks ago,” and the “products were popular among gift givers and corporate buyers,” he added.

Sellers pay Buy.com a fee between 8% and 15% for each purchase made through the site.

Buy.com features more than 9 million products and has more than 6 million e-mail addresses in its customer database. The company, which says it has more than 18 million customers, released a shopping app for the iPhone and iPod on December 20.

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