Advanced EMedia's WebJaguar software helps take e-commerce to new heights.

Chances are, if you haven't shopped online yet, you will – and probably sooner than later. To say that e-commerce is booming is an understatement: According to, which tracks the industry, web-based buying has reached more than $135 billion a year, and sales by the top 500 e-tailers skyrocketed to the tune of 21% in 2006.

But it doesn't happen by magic, and no one knows this better than Bachir Kassir, founder and president of Aliso Viejo-based Advanced EMedia ( Anyone can set up a website, but the software you use makes all the difference.

"You need to have the right tool to help you succeed online – not just the website, but the ability to track where leads are coming and measure return on investment," says Kassir, who worked for Apple in the Silicon Valley before starting Advanced EMedia in 2000.

And, since not all retailers' needs are the same, Advanced EMedia designed the customizable WebJaguar service. After a $1,000 to $5,000 setup fee, plans range from $99 to $499 a month.

"When it comes to real needs, like those of a retail store or business-to-business, you need some specialized features," Kassir says. "We have over 250 features in different modules. Customers compare it to Lego blocks – you can take a block from one module and one from another."

The software is designed to interface with shippers such as FedEx, UPS and DHL, and it even calculates shipping methods based on weather conditions.

And because of the company's speedy, hands-on service from the 8 employees in Orange County and 30-some technology partners throughout the nation, Kassir says, "people think we are a much bigger company."

"If a big company comes to us and says they need a solution, it's not going to take 3 months to do the work," he says. The turnaround time is more like 2 to 8 weeks.

Another measure of the company's success: "Many of our customers are other web-design companies that use our technology to offer services to their clients," he says.

Advanced EMedia has more than 400 customers, ranging from the $100 million-a-year, down to the mom-and-pop level. recently adopted WebJaguar, as did Bendor Jewelry, Inc. Add everything from ink toner to perfume and tobacco, and you begin to understand the acceptance of WebJaguar, and appreciate the diversity of Internet retailing itself.

"We are very, very excited," Kassir says. OCM

By Steve Eddy