Just in time for the holiday season, Excite, the Redwood City, Calif.-based portal currently engaged in a branding and commerce push, is launching a virtual wallet program called Express Order. It launches today in Excite's online Holiday Shoppe.
First-time shoppers can obtain a virtual wallet from any Excite merchant, by entering their billing and shipping addresses and credit card number, and picking a user name and password when they order. The information is stored on the user's hard drive, and made available for future orders on Excite's ongoing Shopping Channel.
According to Andrew Halliday, Excite vice president of commerce, registration information will not be used to target ads. "Right now," he said, "our MatchLogic division does targeted ad serving and does it with greater science than we could through the information we get through registration." Halliday said information on consumer purchases would be stored for use by both the shopper and Excite, adding, "Ultimately, we think that will be one of the key ways we understand what [users are] interested in."
More than 25 merchants are participating in the Holiday Shoppe, many of them print catalogs operated by Weehawken, N.J.-based Hanover Direct, including Domestications home furnishings and decorations, Gumps high-end art and decor, Tweeds clothing for men and women, Toys "R" Us and Peets Coffee. Partner MasterCard International, Purchase, N.Y., will support holiday shopping on Excite with a television and print campaign to launch Nov. 16. In addition to the Holiday Shoppe, Excite will offer a "Decorate Your Home for the Holidays" area and a contest to win a Ford Explorer and digital cameras.