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First Animated Net Auction Goes Live With LivePerson and Hip TV Show
Nov 14, 2001
PRNewswire, the FIRST animated auction has launched online with LivePerson Live Chat, a human touch approach to customer service. Gruvo is also breaking more new ground with the launch of GRUVO Auction TV on AOL/Time Warner. It is the FIRST television show to directly support an online auction. GRUVO TV airs on Sunday's at Noon, and on November 19th will air 7 days a week just in tome for holiday shopping.

The auction site has all the basics available for potential sellers and bidders, plus revolutionary human friendly features like LivePerson Live Chat, a customer relationship management application that facilitates real time online customer assistance. Gruvo is a community, with virtually human animations, that bring the site and the items featured to life. Customers can visit the home page and click on the Welcome Video or Auction Dish button for the scoop on site happenings in Quicktime format.

The Gruvo Auction site is more than a place to post and bid on items in a variety of categories -- Art, Collectibles, Fashion, Home, Real Estate, Dolls, Automobiles, Crafts, Coins, Concerts, Jewelry, Fashion, Sporting Goods and more. The progressive auction site even has a link to a Gruvo World, with virtual characters, and voice item descriptions that activate with a click of a button. Gruvo World is actually a hip apartment based in New York, with real bedrooms, a living room, bathroom, kitchen, Coffee Shop, Neighborhood, a Television channel with Gruvo news, and more.

The humanizing auction site with virtual characters and LivePerson Live Chat assistance, gives the site life," says Marie Patel, President of Gruvo. "Our goal is to offer bidders and sellers a place where their items come to life and a humanizing experience every time they visit our site. We can't think of a better way to build customer loyalty."

The Gruvo auction site has an advantage over its competitors by replacing the current sterile online auction environment with a human one. The sites moving animations, product photos with sound descriptions, and LivePerson Live Chat customer assistance, gives the site an edge with a generation that insists on instant information, entertainment, and human exchange at the click of a button.

Using the latest LivePerson customer service technologies, when a seller or bidder log on to the Gruvo site a customer service representative is immediately notified that a visitor is at their "front door." As customers move around the Web site, the representative can engage bidders and sellers by proactively greeting them and inviting them to chat online. The Gruvo representative can also provide personalized service by assisting a seller that may be having a problem posting an item or a bidder who wants more information. Additionally, Gruvo customers in need of assistance also have the option to reach out to Lucky, the Gruvo hostess, by clicking the LivePerson Live Chat button on the store's home page. Gruvo has adopted these LivePerson features to help build a community and customer loyalty.

"The Gruvo auction site is a great example of just how to build relationships with customers and develop a loyal community of users. User-friendly isn't enough anymore for sites to provide customer service and increase sales. Sites need the additional assistance of Human-Friendly service," explains Robert LoCascio, CEO of LivePerson. "Customers want both instant information on products and questions answered on the spot. Using LivePerson products, Gruvo can provide a positive real-time customer service experience, while saving the company time and money."

"Posting on the Gruvo community will always be free," insists Patel. "Unlike other auction sites, Gruvo understands the burden sellers face when wanting to post items, while not wanting to pay unreasonable posting fees. They will never face this burden at Gruvo. Sellers can post as much as they like without financial worry."

GRUVO Auction TV is fully based on the Gruvo online auction site, its sellers, items and community. The show will be hosted by Lucky, the virtually animated human like character that greets online guests, helps with LivePerson Live chats, and whose hip taste and model like features will surely make her popular among the fashionistas. The show segment will promote online auction items and encourage viewers to visit the online sister site, to place a bid. In the spirit of community GRUVO Auction TV will also promote charity related causes.

"We saw a definite need to launch a progressive television show that would support our animated and community friendly online auction concept," says Patel. "There is an online savvy generation, who is shopping more and more on the Internet because of convenience and lack of time. We are proud to be going where no other online auction has gone before-television. We are what some might call, the next generation of television/online shopping alternatives for hipsters of any age."

GRUVO Auction TV will also be revolutionizing advertising for the small and medium business sector with a unique approach that makes commercials affordable and unique. GRUVO Auction TV advertising/sponsorship packages will eliminate production, video, and other costly elements associated with the production of a commercial. The advertising packages will include a 30 sec and/or 60 sec. spot option of having Lucky, or one of the other virtually human-like animations personally promote products on air. This unique and personal advertising approach follows the Gruvo mission to provide human interaction through all avenues-television and the Internet, at an affordable cost.

Gruvo is a human friendly community. Although referred to as an online auction web site, it is important to realize that it is not a traditional "auctioneer." The site acts as a venue to allow anyone to offer, sell, and buy just about anything, at anytime, from anywhere, in a variety of formats, including a fixed price format and an auction-style format commonly referred to as an "online auction." We are not involved in the actual transaction between buyers and sellers.

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   Cristine Lawson



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