PA extends online ‘alert’ scheme for e-commerce

The Press Association is planning to extend its e-commerce news and special offer alerts to boost the online shopping package it offers to third-party portal sites.

Executives at PA New Media believe its “shopping package” will allow surfers to receive e-mail alerts for special deals in particular categories, and help drive online shopping traffic on portal sites.

“PA receives masses of information from the retail sector every day. We expect the volume of information to grow rapidly,” says Mark Hird, PA’s new media director. “These [shopping] content services will be driven by a database containing details of more than 1,000 online retailers in the UK. Every time a retailer sends PA a news release, the database will be updated, from general e-commerce news to personalised services.”

Initially, PA hopes to sell on its shopping package to existing online customers of its general news, sport and entertainment services. Existing customers for its ready-for-publication content packages include Freeserve, AOL, MSN, Yahoo!, Excite, and Compuserve.

Daniel James, head of content at PA New Media, says: “The first stage will be the launch of general shopping news packages, but we are talking to Web publishers about the creation of special services which allow their users to request alerts about specific types of announcement. These products will roll out later in the year.”

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