Yahoo! Enhances E-Commerce Platform

Search leader Yahoo! enhanced its own e-commerce efforts by delivering transaction capabilities to its small merchants and signing CyberShop as a new anchor tenant in its growing mall.

Agreements with Bank One Payment Services and First Data Merchant Services will give Yahoo! Store merchants a more convenient, cost-effective route toward setting up merchant accounts and accept credit card payments, said Yahoo!’s vice president business development and strategic services, Ellen Siminoff. The highlight is a custom credit-card authorization interface for Yahoo! Store merchants. Using the system, she said, merchants will be able to process credit cards within 48 hours of building their virtual storefronts. Siminoff said Yahoo! store now has over 4,000 merchants.

Yahoo! launched its e-commerce efforts by purchasing ViaWeb, a company that sold low-cost store creation and hosting services, which it offers at store.yahoo.com. It expanded that effort into a full online mall last year at shopping.yahoo.com, hosting links to major merchants like Brainplay.com, Buycomp.com and Egghead.com using the software.

In addition to its Store and Shopping sites, Yahoo! offers businesses a site-creation area, a small business focus area, and a club to help small companies create their own internal communications hubs.

CyberShop signed a broad agreement to be featured on the Yahoo! Shopping service, and in search result pages. “It’s a separate store in Yahoo! Shopping,” spokeswoman Jill Markus said. “We have marketing agreements with America Online, MSN, Excite, Amazon and eTrade, to name five. This is more similar to what we do with America Online,” in that Yahoo! is hosting CyberShop pages and offering broad marketing support.

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