Audio Shop till you Drop

E-wisdom holds that one of the big advantages about retailing on the Internet is that, once a comany is online, the entire world of consumers is only a few mouse clicks away. This concept holds up much better in theory than in practice. Language barriers, shipping costs, and import/export red tape (such as agreements controlling which countries a retailer can even sell a product line to) have all made the reality less than ideal for e-merchants.

To solve the global sales problem, Hifi.com has decided to create websites specific to each country it sells to, and last week announced the launch of Hifi.com Asia, for the Singapore market. Hifi.com claims that the new site is the first comprehensive online consumer-electronics retailer to serve Singapore. The company plans to launch websites in other global markets, including additional Asia-Pacific regions.

Product lines featured on Hifi.com Asia will include Cambridge SoundWorks, Harman/Kardon, Marantz, JBL, JVC, Infinity, Samsung, and Sony. Hifi.com says that Hifi.com Asia will also offer customer-service features, including before- and after-sale support via its Call Center, product information and installation guides, and competitive pricing.

Also last week, Respond.com and ConsumerReview.com announced a new partnership in which, Respond.com says, it has integrated ConsumerReview.com's consumer-written product reviews into its website; ConsumerReview.com says it now features Respond.com's "Shop by Request" service on its network of sites.

Will Clemens, CEO of Respond.com, claims that "this strategic partnership with ConsumerReview.com brings more shoppers to our site and helps Respond.com keep its commitment to provide our customers with all the information they need to buy products quickly and easily online."

Respond.com says that its "Shop by Request" service is intended to allow customers to find what they want "without having to spend time and effort clicking through search-engine results or searching auction sites." Instead, the company explains that customers submit a request with their purchase criteria, and sellers respond directly through e-mail.

ConsumerReview.com's Max Mancini adds that "we are pleased to create a better shopping experience for our users by connecting them with merchants who sell the product they have researched using ConsumerReview.com's network of product enthusiast communities."

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