Independent E-store Operators Make Inroads into Key Small Business Market

July 21, 2005 - (HOSTSEARCH.COM) - The global explosion in the number of online businesses utilizing auction websites is not set to slow down and for companies like market leader eBay, the future looks promising. With solid existing markets in the United States and Europe (especially Germany, where online trading is becoming a national obsession), eBay’s first quarter 2005 profits rose 53%, increasing its share value by 15%. Despite a slowing of profit growth and a leveling off of domestic business, eBay management expects share earnings to increase 25 to 28 percent in 2005, with revenue in excess of $4 billion by the end of year. Good news for eBay, but not news that has brought cheer to some of its customers. eBay chat boards often feature sellers anxious about price increases that make online stores harder to operate and a number of postings reflect a view that eBay’s chief concern is encouraging the sale of stock rather than the benefit if its customers. Disillusioned and discouraged ‘e-tailers’ are seeking viable alternatives to the big names, prompting a move towards independent operators – operators like Netfirms, Inc.

Netfirms, Inc. has successfully carved a niche for itself by making it easier for e-tailers to maintain their own online stores. Their focus on keeping transaction fees and other costs minimal is striking the right note with potential customers. Retailers and shops are now able to operate ecommerce capable sites for around $10 a month without paying the transaction fees operators like eBay charge (often in the range of 15%). Netfirms’ service includes tools that enable retailers with no experience of setting up websites to access shopping carts, track sales, create newsletters and otherwise maintain contact with their customers. Results are impressive, and Netfirms now hosts more than 12,000 online stores. Based on current figures the company predicts a 30% increase in the number of ecommerce packages it provides during 2005.

To find out more about Netfirms products and services visit .

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