First Look: LaGarde's StoreFront 6.0 e-Business Software

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted November 18, 2002
Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor, www.smallbusinesscomputing.com

LaGarde, a provider of e-Business solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), announced the immediate availability of the StoreFront 6.0 e-Business software. Built on the Microsoft .NET platform, StoreFront 6.0 is designed to offer a secure, sophisticated solution for SMBs to extend their business online with a full-featured, "Amazon.com-like" Web store - at a fraction of the cost to deploy and maintain.

Designed to integrate with Microsoft FrontPage, Macromedia Dreamweaver, and Intuit Quickbooks, StoreFront should offer expanded functionality for merchants to better merchandise, market, and manage their Web stores. New features include opportunities for cross-promotions and upselling, with integrated support for digital downloads, automated publishing to online auctions and marketplaces, HTML emails, customer-specific pricing, and more, as well as advanced product import, reporting, and other management capabilities.

The product includes a range of customer relationship management (CRM) features that help merchants provide customers with a personalized, interactive shopping experience, featuring address books, multiple shipping addresses, wish lists, integrated shipment tracking, live help, and more.

StoreFront 6.0 offers a platform that can be used for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce, with features for multi-layer security, multi-tiered pricing and tax structures, customer-specific and volume pricing, affiliate/partner management, and more. StoreFront sites can be set up to support sales in any language, currency, and country.

A range of integrated features should help merchants expand revenue opportunities without an additional investment. With instant download delivery, "soft" goods such as music, software, and graphics may be made available for download after purchase. Merchants can establish their own set of rules and policies related to downloads. StoreFront 6.0 also includes fields for customer-defined attributes, enabling merchants to add value to their products with expanded options for personalization.

StoreFront 6.0 offers the capability to suggest related items for purchase, pointing shoppers to complementary products such as batteries for the CD player in their shopping cart. Additional opportunities for increased product promotion include support for coupons and gift certificates, HTML e-mail offers, and complete integration with online auctions and popular shopping portals such as DealTime.

StoreFront 6.0 includes a user interface for merchants so they may centrally manage all aspects of their Web store directly online. An advanced product import tool helps add and update products to a StoreFront site. Centralized inventory and order fulfillment tracking ensures that merchants' business operations are fully up-to-date, making it easy to keep track of availability, support backorders, and more. StoreFront 6.0 also features improved shipment utilities, including online shipment tracking, automated drop shipping, and enhanced fraud protection. A range of custom and built-in reports are available to consistently review sales levels and other activity.

Pricing and Availability
StoreFront 6.0 is shipping today. Versions of StoreFront for Dreamweaver and FrontPage start at $379. Additional versions with add-on accounting functions for Quickbooks are also available. LaGarde also offers a hosted version of the StoreFront software, BizPlaces. For more information, please visit www.storefront.net.

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