Ireland’s first one-stop-online shopping facility, edirectory.ie, was launched today (Monday, 1st November 2004). Thousands of products, from a broad spectrum of retailers, can be purchased from the new ‘online shopping centre’, www.edirectory.ie, which provides Irish customers with a quick, hassle-free, and secure approach to online buying.
The site is the first of its kind in Ireland and has been franchised from edirectory.co.uk by FEXCO, the Kerry, Ireland-based global payments company. It is operated by Gulliver Ireland which is using the same multi-merchant single-basket model and proprietary technology that has been successfully developed by edirectory.co.uk.
Gulliver Ireland has developed significant Internet expertise through its ownership of GoIreland.com, the market leader in online accommodation reservations in Ireland. edirectory.co.uk is one of the UK’s largest online shopping sites and receives up to five million page impressions every month.
Unlike traditional online shopping, edirectory.ie does not link customers to individual merchants’ sites. Instead, edirectory.ie shoppers may purchase from one or many suppliers by using a single, secure online shopping basket which delivers quicker, easier and more secure online shopping.
The site’s uniqueness allows browsing and purchasing of a wide range of products, from many different suppliers, from music and CDs, gadgets and gifts to adventure and outdoor equipment. Thousands of products are available from the following list of categories:
Adventure & Outdoor, Baby & Parenting, CDs & Music, Clothing & Footwear, Computing & Office, DIY, DVDs & Videos, Electrical Goods, Gadgets, Garden, Gifts & Occasions, Health & Beauty, Hobbies & Collectables, House & Home, Jewellery & Watches, Mobile Phones, Motoring, Pets, Pictures, Posters & Calendars, Sport, Toys & Games, Travel.
As edirectory.ie holds no stock and does not carry out warehousing or fulfilment, it focuses its resources on superb customer service and constantly improving the quality and range of products for sale.
The portal offers merchants another distribution channel and the chance to benefit from the traffic edirectory.ie attracts as a complete online shopping mall. The site is also optimised to generate traffic from search engines.
Merchants do not require an existing website. As long as they have fulfilment capabilities they can list their products on edirectory.ie and benefit from the online distribution channel. The edirectory webshop technology also allows merchants without current e-commerce capabilities to transaction-enable their own websites.
Shoppers can choose to receive edirectory.ie’s newsletters, which feature new products, offers and last minute deals. A toll-free telephone number allows instant contact with edirectory.ie agents.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Mark O Connor, Finance & Operations Director of Gulliver Ireland said, "For customers, the convenience and ease of being able to buy all their goods under the one roof, without linking to many different websites, is uniquely appealing. edirectory.ie offers the Irish consumer a vast range of goods in an attractive and secure online shopping environment.
"The navigation system of edirectory.ie is logical, easy to use and efficient. Our database is linked to a centralised, secure shopping basket. edirectory handles all orders and relays them to the supplier. The supplier then handles fulfilment and is responsible for the shipping of goods. Importantly, all transactions are secure with the usage of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption software."
Commenting on the online shopping market, Mr O’Connor said, "The online shopping market in Ireland is still in its infancy. One report (*) indicates that only 1.6 per cent of Irish shopping is conducted online with Irish consumers spending €73 million over the Internet in Christmas 2003 out of a total annual online spend of €136 million. It is predicted that this figure will reach €260 million in 2004. This compares with British online shopping revenue growth of 50 per cent in 2003 (**) where online spending increased to €299.6 million (Stg£200 million)."
(*) Source: The Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG)
(**) Source: The Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS) ‘The Way We Pay’ Report
For further information, please contact:
Mr Mark O’Connor, Finance & Operations Director, Gulliver Ireland.
Telephone: (066) 9792112
Niall McLoughlin, Business Management Communications
m. 086 819 4842 e. email@example.com
Notes to editors:
Gulliver Ireland, which is headquartered in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, is Ireland’s leading cost effective provider of tourism information and reservations. The original Gulliver system was developed by Bord Fáilte and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Following a partnership agreement with FEXCO in 1997, the financial services company acquired a majority shareholding in Gulliver and since July 2004 is the 100 per cent owner of Gulliver Ireland. Since 1997 a significant investment has transformed the Gulliver database as Ireland’s destination management system and one of the leading systems of its kind in Europe.
The company’s destination management system operates an advanced and comprehensive tourism database that provides an information and reservation service for Irish tourism products and services. The Gulliver database contains all approved accommodation providers on the island of Ireland, regardless of size or location, and the system processes bookings for almost 10,000 member properties from the internet, tourist offices and the international call centre. It functions as Ireland’s national tourism information database and powers, among others, the Fáilte Ireland website, www.ireland.ie, and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board website, www.discovernorthernireland.com.
FEXCO is a global payments company headquartered in Kerry, Ireland with operations in the Ireland, UK, Spain, Scandinavia, Malta, Australia and USA. The company was established in 1981 by its Executive Chairman, Brian McCarthy, and offers a range of Global Consumer Payments, Global Corporate Payments and Business Services. The company is privately owned with USA-based First Data Corporation, the world’s leading payment processor, holding a minority shareholding in the business.