Can you ‘burp’ online?

We should have seen it coming. Tupperware, the venerable company that has stocked the cupboards of millions of North Americans with useful (but rarely used) food storage equipment, has announced that it is going online. When you consider the cultural significance of this move, and ponder the eventual demise of that once great institution known as the Tupperware Party, it becomes apparent: the Net is definitely here to stay.

The Tupperware site, which went live last week, lets consumers purchase Tupperware products online for the first time. It also offers sections dedicated to party planning, sales force recruitment (uh-oh), and distributor locations, to “give consumers a new level of access to Tupperware’s offerings.”

Those who doubt the viability of ecommerce and the Internet should heed the words of Tupperware President Betty Palm. “We are committed to defining the direct selling industry in the 21st century to the same degree that we helped define it in the 20th century,” says Ms. Palm. “Our party-plan platform remains our core selling method. The Internet, our mall kiosk program, and the new venture with the Home Shopping Network are part of our integrated direct accesstrategy to attract more customers to our brand and direct new leads to our sales force.”

Yet another example of ecommerce joining existing sales and marketing methods to provide consumers with choice and ease of access. Whether people can learn how to properly “burp” their Tupperware online is something that remains to be seen, and heard.