Kurant Corporation today announced StoreSense 5.7, the next version of its award-winning e-business platform. StoreSense 5.7 delivers a number of new capabilities and enhancements to provide merchants with increased flexibility, enhanced storefront management capabilities, and greater access to a broad new customer base.

Building upon Kurant’s commitment to provide merchants with the tools to better reach and retain customers, StoreSense 5.7 includes support for several popular online shopping search engines, including Shopping.com, Froogle and BizRate. This new functionality enables merchants to automatically post detailed product information to these search engines and manage the entire selling process using StoreSense, and allows search engine shoppers to easily find, compare and buy products. With 46.6 million Internet shoppers visiting online comparison-shopping sites last month (according to Nielsen//NetRatings), StoreSense merchants can now reach potentially millions of new customers.

Storefronts with a number of purchasing and payment options win and keep new customers. In fact, according to recent data from CyberSource, shopping carts offering only one payment method experienced an abandonment rate of 40 percent. However, with four or more payment options, this number drops significantly to 28 percent. To this end, StoreSense 5.7 now enables merchants to offer consumers the ability to take advantage of electronic check processing through ElectraCash. In addition, Kurant has added support for Concord EFSNet and PayFuse payment gateways, joining a growing list of over 12 payment gateways. StoreSense also includes support for PayPal. Kurant has made payment processes extremely easy for merchants, including the option of accepting a PayPal payment without the merchant having to set up an account first.

StoreSense 5.7 features enhanced system administration functionality, allowing Web site administrators to more easily and effectively communicate product and system updates to merchant customers, including maintenance alerts, scheduled downtime and other critical information. In addition, StoreSense 5.7 provides direct integration with Web support, providing administrators with a quick and easy way to obtain technical support and other information when needed.

“The new store and system administration features in StoreSense 5.7 makes it easier than ever for small businesses to take advantage of the best e-business has to offer,” said Curtis Pierce, president and CEO of Kurant. “Providing integration with Shopping.com, Froogle and BizRate gives merchants tremendous value, by combining a suite of powerful e-commerce and e-business management capabilities with access to increasingly popular online marketplaces in a single cost-effective, intuitive package.”

StoreSense 5.7 is available immediately through Kurant’s reseller partner, Website Pros. According to David Brown, president and CEO of Website Pros, “The additional support for popular shopping search engines and new electronic payment capabilities allows StoreSense merchants to increase customer retention and expand their reach to thousands of potential new customers. Website Pros is committed to providing small businesses with everything they need to take advantage of new e-commerce opportunities and the latest technologies. We are delighted to work with Kurant to help merchants find new ways to increase marketplace value, and meet or exceed all of their business goals.”