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Cut the Strings

Is your Web site feeling confined? Go wireless, and set it free.

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This story appears in the May 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Last year, Smartshop.comInc., a free comparison- service for online shoppers,began to consider making its site compatible with the new wirelessInternet technologies. "We looked at the indicators and foundthat was growing like mad," says Tim Musgrove, COOand CTO. "We looked at the service we offer-comparisonshopping-and knew that consumers were not just going to do thisbehind a desk. We knew they would be out, carrying a Web-enabledphone in a shopping mall and comparing prices from their phones. Weknew we had to do it."

So, in a well-calculated effort to jump on the trend, the MorganHill, , company decided to add wireless capabilities toits site-meaning customers can now browse, research and compareprices for a wide range of products straight from theirInternet-enabled handheld devices or . It works likethis: First, users log on to the wireless section of thecompany's site. Then, either customers can download thesite's wireless capability onto their PCs to use on their PDAs,or, if they're using a mobile phone, they can log on tohttp://wireless.smartshop.com,which can be bookmarked for later use. Users can then use apared-down version of the Smartshop.com site any time-whetherthey're on the road, at the mall or anywhere else they'dlike to search for desired products by category or keyword.

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