Herald and Journal, November 9, 1998

Herald-Journal to open online shopping web site

Central Minnesota Cyberstore (CMC), a complete electronic shopping Web site featuring local and area products, will be opening for business within the next few weeks.

The new Web site gives local and area merchants an easy way to sell their products throughout the USA and beyond. CMC's Web address will be announced when the site officially opens.

Central Minnesota Cyberstore is operated by the Howard Lake Herald/Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal along with the newspapers' own site at www.herald-journal.com.

CMC is targeted for people outside the general trade area of the local communities. Internet users from 50 or 5,000 miles away will have easy access to ordering local products offered for sale on the site.

From a technical standpoint, Central Minnesota Cyberstore has two sections. One is an informational area and product listing. The other is the actual online shopping mall where computer users can easily order items with a few clicks of a mouse.

Industry standard security is provided so that customers may make purchases online with Visa, Mastercard, or Discover credit cards. For those who prefer not to order via computer, there is also a fax and/or mail order form available as well.

Traffic continues to grow

The Herald-Journal newspaper site has steadily drawn more and more visitors since its inception two and one-half years ago, reaching as many as 1,800 unique visitors in a single week recently.

New records for hits and home page accesses were set again the last week in October. In fact, new usage records have been set every few weeks throughout 1998.

The main newspaper site will be just one of many ways for Internet users to enter Central Minnesota Cyberstore.

"People visiting the Herald-Journal site already have a demonstrated interest in our area. The next logical step is to offer them local products to buy," said Dale Kovar of the Herald-Journal staff.

Also, "entrances" to Central Minnesota Cyberstore will be placed in other Web sites controlled by the Herald and Journal such as the site for the Luce Line Trail (www.luceline.com).

Finally, CMC will also have a presence in Yahoo Store's online shopping mall, which is one of the busiest online malls in the world. That connection will also mean large amounts of Web traffic coming to Central Minnesota Cyberstore.

Products wanted

The cyberstore has several local products already committed, and will open as soon as several more businesses come on board.

For merchants or individuals, the cyberstore works similar to a consignment shop.

As operator of the store, the Herald and Journal handle all the design, maintenance, marketing, and operation of the site. Orders are then filled by the participating merchant.

Generally, any product that would work in a mail order situation would be suitable for online sales. Anything with a specific local connection would be even more desirable.

For more information on becoming a merchant in Central Minnesota Cyberstore, contact:

  • Chris at 320-485-2535 or toll-free 888-228-1428.
  • Lonna at 320-543-2131 or toll-free 800-567-8303.

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