ITP.net partners with eTechnoWorld

Collaboration between leading IT information portal and IT e-retailer will give online shoppers a unique way to evaluate products before purchasing.

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By  Rob Corder Published  December 18, 2000

ITP has joined forces with Emirates Computers to create a unique experience for IT and telecomms product shoppers on the Web.

Emirates Computers has created a virtual shopping mall called Etechnoworld, which will initially sell its core portfolio of products from Nokia, Dell, Acer and Proxima. This product range will be expanded when Emirates Computers and its regional partners can guarantee the support and logistics infrastructure necessary to enable 48-hour delivery and Middle East-wide warranties.

It is this support and logistics infrastructure that leads Etechnoworld to believe it will dominate the online sales for IT and telecoms equipment in the Middle East. The company’s mission statement says that it will not sell any brand into any country unless it can deliver on four promises:

1. The best prices in the market.
2. Guaranteed 24-hour delivery to your doorstep.
3. Full warranty support provided by authorised service centers.
4. Customer relationship officers available 12 hours a day to advise and support all purchasing decisions.

In the short term, this dedication to quality of service has prompted Etechnoworld to concentrate only on the UAE. But a partner network is being rapidly developed throughout the Middle East that will allow the company to make the same promises in every country and for a much broader portfolio of products.

Etechnoworld feels that whilst there are a number of existing sites in the Middle East, its true competition for online sales comes from the US and Far East, and the company’s business model sets out to eradicate any advantages that these overseas companies have. Wherever you buy from (or travel to) in the Middle East, delivery will be fast and free of charge; local partners will provide a full warranty; and hotline support will be available with a local phone call. “International prices with all the benefits of buying from the local agent,” said Hani Harik, President of Emirates Computers.

“This is not too good to be true,” said Harik, “But merely a reflection of the way the industry is going. If Nokia can work out how many phones to deliver without having to employ a person to continually call their partners, and if dealers can sell notebooks without having a showroom, then overheads will drop and the savings can be passed onto the end user. As manufacturers battle to provide increasingly better value, they will support the model, which enables them to offer better prices and speedier availability. This does just that.” So whilst you hear everyone claiming to deliver ‘best prices’ you can see the logic behind Etechnoworld genuinely delivering.

The final advantage is delivered through the partnership with ITP, and its Web site www.itp.net. The partnership will give online shoppers the full shopping experience. The first step might be browsing for products on ITP.net, where they will find independent reviews of all products written by the Labs Editors of the market-leading Windows User Middle East magazine. Unlike reviews from international Web sites, these are tests on the exact products that are available locally. The reviews will also be in Arabic when ITP.net’s Arabic site launches in February next year.

A shopper will then be able to go directly from the product review to the buying process, which will be handled by Etechnoworld. This fully secure e-commerce site (guaranteed by Comtrust) will handle all aspects of payment and shipment online.

“It’s a perfect partnership,” said Robert Serafin, managing director for ITP. “Shoppers want authoritative and impartial advice, which is what ITP provides, while Etechnoworld has the skills and experience to handle the sales, payment and logistics end of the transaction. So you’ll know you’re buying the right product and you’ll know you’re going to get it quickly, and at the best price.”

The ITP partnership will add to what has already proved to be a highly successful model. In Etechnoworld’s first 30 days of operation it delivered sales figures of over $100,000. With ITP.net already netting 1.3 million page impressions per month (almost three hundred times that of Etechnoworld’s existing traffic), the visitors that will be funneled towards Etechnoworld’s site are expected to make it the highest grossing e-commerce site in the Middle East.

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