Amway e-tail site takes off

Amway New Zealand is to launch a consumer shopping web portal next month, offering its huge range of branded products and links to other etailers.

Amway New Zealand is to launch a consumer shopping web portal next month, offering its huge range of branded products and links to other etailers.

Partner merchants such as Compaq, Blue Star, Deli Direct, PaintDirect, Amsure Insurance, Amcom Mobile, PaintDirect, Appliance Shop, Esanda Auto Select and Pharmacy Direct will be featured on the site.

Amway NZ business manager Carol Wiltshire says the website will be initially an additional ordering vehicle for Amway distributors and customers but she envisages it becoming a fully fledged online shopping site.

In Australia, Amway’s site, launched in April last year, was ranked the number one Australian shopping site by online research firm Hitwise within two weeks of going live. Both sites were developed by IBM Australia and are hosted by Amway’s regional office in Sydney. In contrast, Amway’s website in the US uses Microsoft technology.

Amway New Zealand is piloting the e-commerce website with 120 Amway distributors and hopes to take more than 40% of its orders online by the end of the year. The company, which has more than 18,000 independent distributors (usually comprising two people each), had net sales of $33,770,000 in 1999.

Local distributors have had the ability for six years to dial into Amway’s AS/400 server in Sydney and place orders through a Microsoft DOS-based application. But a2k (which started out as a codename and stuck) is Amway New Zealand’s first foray on to the internet.

Distributors and their clients will be able to place orders on the site and distributors will have access to information on their business history as well data on top performing products, and monthly comparisons with national averages. To buy products on the site clients must enter their distributor’s number to ensure the distributor gets a margin on the sale.

The website will also underpin a new Amway scheme which, for a $40 joining fee, enables buyers to access Amway products direct at discount prices. Since the scheme was introduced to New Zealand last September, 6000 people have joined, the company says.

Amway is also developing a data warehouse to store data for personalised marketing to members.

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