Intuit Inc., the maker of the successful Quicken and QuickBooks lines of accounting software, on Monday announced a new online marketplace, called QuickBooks Shopping Source, targeted at small businesses.
QuickBooks Shopping Source, powered by business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce company Metiom Inc., is aimed at providing discounts on business supplies and services -- ranging from computers to clothing and even janitorial services -- to small businesses.
To use QuickBooks Shopping Source, businesses need only own a copy of QuickBooks 2000, into which the service is integrated. From there, they will be able to search through products offered by 19 different vendors, according to Scott Baird, senior business manager at Intuit. A Web site, supporting non-QuickBooks users, is planned for the near future. There is no charge for using the service other than the cost of the products purchased.
Small businesses will gravitate to the service, Baird said, because of its ease of use, its discounts -- sometimes as high as 40 percent -- and because each company that sells through the Shopping Source must meet standards of reliability and customer service set by Intuit.
Vendors, including Office Depot Inc., Gateway Inc. and Lexmark International Inc., will want to sell their products through Intuit because the company's over 3 million customers already purchase more goods and services online than the average small business, Baird added. Intuit expects to double the number of vendors by the end of the year.
QuickBooks Shopping Service is "a powerful way for small businesses to buy any products they need to run their businesses," he said.
Besides being a "powerful" tool for its consumers, Intuit stands to benefit from users buying through the Shopping Source. The company will receive a commission of 1 to 5 percent on every transaction made through the service, Baird said.
QuickBooks Shopping Source is not the first online marketplace of its kind. It enters a market widely seen by analysts as having a high failure rate already populated by such companies as HotOffice Technologies Inc., BigVine.com Inc. and DemandLine.com Inc.
Intuit Inc., in Mountain View, California, can be reached at +1-650-944-6000 or http://www.intuit.com.