December 3, 2001, 12:00 AM

Now starring at EddieBauer.com: Gifts

EddieBauer.com has launched video presentation on two dozen men`s, women`s and home products online. After three weeks, it is pleased with the conversion rate of customers who view the videos.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Three weeks after it launched video presentation of two dozen men`s, women`s and home products online, EddieBauer.com is pleased with early results, says Brian Walker, manager of business development at EddieBauer.com.

Known for its willingness to test new presentation technologies online, EddieBauer.com has pushed online sales technology another step forward by creating video presentation for two dozen products in its gift section. EddieBauer.com is still measuring the effectiveness of video in creating sales and has no hard figures yet, but Walker says, “We’re very pleased with it. Conversion rates of customers associated with the videos are very strong.”

EddieBauer.com is using video technology from Vendaria, which allows Eddie Bauer to detect how the customer is connecting to the web and which media player and browser the customer has, then delivers the video in the appropriate format. “Whenever the customers have to make the choice, they may make the wrong decision or they may become frustrated,” Walker says.

Making sure that as many Internet users as possible can view a video is a key goal for Vendaria, Scott Ferris, Vendaria president and CEO, says. “We’ve cracked the code for the least common denominator of Internet customer,” he says.

While online retailers have believed that high-tech product presentations generally suit themselves best to high-ticket items, Eddie Bauer is testing the technology across a range of products and prices, from a $298 women’s leather jacket to an $18 snow globe. “We chose a wide spectrum of products so we could gather some learning as to how customers might be benefiting from using this technology,” Walker says.

“We went into this thinking that to justify streaming video you needed to sell high-ticket items,” Ferris says. “But we’ve learned that it can be cost effective on items down to $25.”

The Eddie Bauer presentations come in two formats, so that customers with higher speed connections get a more sophisticated video while those with lower speed connections get a video that doesn’t take forever to download.

Ferris says videos cost about $2,000 to produce.

Vendaria has produced videos for manufacturers that then play on retail sites. From that experience, Ferris says, Vendaria has determined that the conversion rate of video viewers is 4 to 8 times the normal conversion rate at a web site. Vendaria hosts the videos and charges customers 24 cents or less per viewing session.

Videos may be viewed at http://www.eddiebauer.com/eb/collections/video_hol2001.asp?collection_id=101.

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