announces the guide to buying promotional products online

New guide gives buying tips and resources to marketing professionals as the $15 billion industry flocks to the internet

FOSTER CITY, Calif. – November 14, 2000 – (, the leading online seller of promotional products, today announced “The Guide to Buying Promotional Products Online,” a simple and comprehensive guide to buying custom-branded merchandise on the Internet. The Guide was created in response to a dramatic shift in the promotional product industry, as nearly 40 percent of buyers now use the Internet to source product ideas. This informative publication comes on the heels of the seminal study, “PPAI Buyers Survey 2000,” published recently by the Promotional Products Association International, which outlined this market shift.

“‘The Guide To Buying Promotional Products Online’ is a lucid, yet easy-to-read guide to the ins and outs of buying promotional products on the Internet,” said Al Ries, chairman, Ries & Ries, and co-author of The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding. “Don’t buy a branded mug or custom t-shirts until you read it carefully.”

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The PPAI study, conducted by researcher Dr. Marjorie Cooper of Baylor University, focuses on the purchasing patterns of promotional products buyers. Results demonstrate a significant change in customer behavior, for this historically offline $15 billion industry. More buyers are taking advantage of the improved accuracy and timesavings experienced when ordering online.

The detailed survey of 1,710 promotional product buyers reveals that over 20 percent of the respondents have ordered promotional products on the Internet. However, buyers expect to be doing more ordering online in the future; 95 percent of respondents expect to use the Internet to purchase promotional products within the next 2 years.

The buyers surveyed ranked the following features as the most important Internet capabilities:

  • Order status
  • A searchable, cross-referenced database of products
  • Instant price quotes
  • Spec sample ordering
  • The ability to view a sample product with the customized logo online

“As the online leader, is committed to educating buyers on the numerous benefits associated with purchasing promotional products online,” said Jerry McLaughlin, CEO. “‘The Guide to Buying Promotional Products Online’ will help to explain the many purchasing and selection options offered via the Internet.”

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The study also highlights the growing importance of supply chain management within the industry, as many respondents admitted to a greater need for better coordination between suppliers and distributors.

“PPAI’s research on buyers’ use of the Internet for finding and purchasing products provides additional confirmation that e-commerce has a bright future in the promotional products industry,” said Steve Slagle, CAE, PPAI president. “Buyers are using, and will increase their use, of the Internet with partners who not only provide great technology but also outstanding customer service.”

To obtain a printed copy of ‘The Guide to Buying Promotional Products Online,’ please contact Taj Alavi of at 650-292-2771.

About is the leading online provider of custom-branded promotional products.’s exclusive “See Before You Buy” allows companies to interactively find, brand and buy promotional products online, with the immediate ability to see a logo or artwork in 3-D on a product. The company offers the largest online selection of products, including exclusive brands, from over 50 major suppliers. helps corporations with their enterprise-wide brand management and instant promotional product selection and customization via the company’s proprietary online technology and capabilities. is also the only company to have such technological innovations as: PhotoSample technology, Product Finder, IdeaEngine , secure project folders, and instant quotes. is headquartered in Foster City, California. Additional information can be obtained via the company’s web site at or by calling 1-877-BRANDERS.

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