01 November 1997

A HELPING HAND for British craft companies eager to sell artefacts to the US market is offered by Commerce Direct, a UK-based strategic Internet consultancy. Firms with products likely to appeal to Stateside consumers will be offered Website space to showcase their wares. The package will also include online advertising, a secure transaction facility and Commerce Direct will advise when required on transatlantic distribution. The deal has been put together as a joint venture with electronic commerce software and development specialists iCat Europe and Citygate. The trio hope to entice participants with a 'proof of concept' offer - paying only a royalty on goods sold. Says iCat general manager David Aldridge: 'Our proposition to [producers of traditional handmade British products] is to try it out first to see if their products sell - and then invest in a well-designed online store or catalogue.'