BT is to throw its weight behind Venda, the e-commerce business started by former Dialog boss Dan Wagner.
Venda uses technology it bought from Boo.com, the fashion retailer that was one of the first casualties of the dot-com boom, and Dialog, the information group that ran into financial difficulties, to offer an entire e-commerce solution to retailers.
For £48,000 a year, Venda will design a website, run the software, process orders and run all the back office for a retailer. The price is the same however big the company and Venda only charges more if over 5,000 transactions a month go through the site.
It is already being used by firms as diverse as Ted Baker, Ocado – the e-commerce partner of Waitrose – and BBC Worldwide.
BT and Venda will this week announce a partnership to attack the e-commerce market. Both BT Ignite, the broadband internet operation, and BT Retail will be pushing Venda to their customers. Mailshots will go out first to "corporate advance" customers – typically the growing business – and then to smaller users.
Around 100,000 companies already have an e-commerce site, while another 400,000 businesses in the UK are seen as potential users. Venda originally thought it would only sell to companies without an e-commerce site, but it has found that customers are ditching what they already have to go with Venda.
BBC Worldwide is going live with a Venda-run site in the new year, even though its products are currently being sold in the BBC Shop, which has an e-commerce arm. "We decided to go with it because Venda offers a total managed solution," said Nicholas Badger of BBC Worldwide.
Roger Whiteside of Ocado, which also goes live with a Venda site soon, said: "We would recommend that anyone looking to build a new web shop give this solution serious consideration."
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