Incentive-based rewards company Beenz.com has laid off 43 people from its UK and US offices as the company moves its focus away from the internet.
Beenz.com works by rewarding users with "beenz" for things like filling in surveys and registering with mailing lists. Beenz can then be used at other sites for items ranging from gift certificates to DVDs.
Because the company deals almost exclusively with companies whose sole business is online, the recent market downturn has effected it tremendously, according to company founder Charles Cohen.
"The market fall was probably the catalyst that started the whole thing rolling, now many businesses that were our customers are no longer in business," he said.
In the last week, the company laid off 25 employees in its New York and San Francisco offices and had 18 "voluntary redundancies" in the UK. Although the problem is global, the U.S. was hardest hit by layoffs because the market has been especially bad there, Cohen said.
The restructuring of the company will see it focus on shifting its revenue stream from the online world into incentive schemes for both customers and employees of brick-and-mortar companies.
Beenz plans to do this by having companies include a personalised URL with products customers buy in physical outlets, which would still give customers the reward points upon filling out the online form.
Cohen hopes to see the new URL system on shelves during the first quarter of 2001, but admits it may be later because of the logistics involved.