Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of
Tue June 5 2012 22:03:17

Internet Retailer Kicks Off in Sunny Chicago

By: Ina Steiner

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I left rainy Boston for sunny Chicago this morning to attend the Internet Retailer conference. EcommerceBytes Contributing Editor Greg Holden and I caught up over lunch with his fiancee, a nice way to kick off the show.

The exhibit hall opened at 4 pm, and I went straight to the AnyCommerce booth and met with its founder Brian Horakh. If the name sounds familiar, it's because he founded Zoovy, which was actually one of our first sponsors over 10 years ago.

Brian is an evangelist for a new approach to websites, which he calls an "app approach." As a way of explaining it, he said Facebook is not really a traditional website, but is an application. AnyCommerce is open source, but cloud based.

By building AnyCommerce, he is allowing online merchants to take an app approach, and that will let retailers build mobile and tablet apps easily and, he said, at a fraction of the cost he would have been able to do using Zoovy technology or other traditional website development technology.

It's still early days, he said, but this is a full fledged commitment - they are not signing up any new Zoovy clients - AnyCommerce is the new brand.

Next up was the Auctionopia booth, where I met with founder Tom Popomaronis. He's taking an interesting approach by trying to attract many types of sellers of all sizes with several different auction formats. There is the traditional eBay approach; a scheduled auction format; and an "instant auction."

The latter may be most attractive to smaller sellers. Auctionopia offers Instant Messaging; buyers can haggle with sellers, and if they agree on a price, the seller lowers the price of the auction - at that moment, the auction changes its scheduled end time to 2 minutes, so there is still a chance the may lose the bid, but only has to wait 2 minutes to find out.

Popomaronis was an eBay seller in college, and created his site to overcome two flaws he saw with eBay - communication and fees. Auctionopia is free, but offers storefronts at $199/year. A podcast interview is forthcoming.

I next visited the Ortery booth, where Sam Shearer gave me a demo, which I captured on my Flip video camera. Any online seller that struggles with the challenges of product photography (both the time it takes and the quality of the images) will appreciate the Ortery photo studios. Not an inexpensive proposition, but the shots of sneakers and jewelry taken with Ortery's PhotoBench series were phenomenal.

I swung by the Vendio booth, a company well known to many readers, and Kalio Commerce, which, according to Emmanuel de Boucaud, is courting merchants in the $5 million to $75 million range. They also have a number of catalog companies as customers, including Dover Saddlery.

The exhibit hall was energetic but not crowded - many vendors are hosting parties and meetings with clients, prospects, analysts and reporters this evening.

Mercent took a different approach by putting together a panel of speakers including a Google and an eBay executive being held at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. Greg is covering the event and is on a mission to learn more about Google's decision to move Google Shopping to a pay-to-play model.

Tomorrow's a full day with keynote presentation, sessions and the exhibit hall - IRCE is expecting about 8,000 attendees. If you're here at the event, come by the Women Ecommerce event in the exhibit hall tomorrow evening (Wednesday) at the end of row 600 from 5 - 7 pm. Stay tuned to the EcommerceBytes website for more coverage of the conference.

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Perminate Link for Internet Retailer Kicks Off in Sunny Chicago   Internet Retailer Kicks Off in Sunny Chicago

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 6 03:31:35 2012

have a nice visit.

Perminate Link for Internet Retailer Kicks Off in Sunny Chicago   Internet Retailer Kicks Off in Sunny Chicago

by: 10 year seller This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 6 10:23:23 2012

A lot of interesting new ideas. There will be life after eBay.

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