Menu begins beta testing begins beta testing

Web developer Smartbuy is in the final throes of developing Tandy's e-commerce Web site, with consumer testing expected to be completed this week.

The final touches are being added to, which is expected to open to consumers within the next couple of weeks. The site will feature around 30,000 of the retailer's products - a product offering much greater than that found in Tandy stores. The site is expected to be used in Tandy outlets to provide the retailer with an "e-commerce warehouse".

"We have been very, very happy with the progress," said Tony Gattari, founder and director of Smartbuy. "This is the first attempt to create a clicks-and-mortar solution that allows retailers to drive traffic into their stores."

Of particular interest is Tandy's move into Web-based auctions. Customers will be able to bid for items online, either manually or via an autobid facility.

But by far the most innovative feature is the integration of the site with the back-end systems of Australia Post.

"It is a seamless approach with the ERP system," Gattari said. "It effectively taps into the Australia Post network and allows the consumer to trace and track their products through every phase of the delivery process."

Smartbuy is currently testing the site in a live environment.

"In life there are always issues and bugs in a system. We want to make sure they have been ironed out and that all the pieces in the puzzle fit together perfectly."

When the site is fully operational, customers will be able to pay for goods on their credit cards, via mail order or through a call centre. They will also be able to order goods, and pick up and pay for them at their local Tandy store. Gattari hopes this method will find favour with customers who may be wary of providing their credit card details over the Internet.

Gattari hopes the new site will lure other non-competing retailers to Smartbuy's services.

Photograph: Smartbuy founder and director Tony Gattari.

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