A Forrester report points out challenges faced by some business-to-business firms working online.
With two days left before Christmas, a web-only offer drove shoppers into stores after the holiday delivery cut-off for orders from SharperImage.com. Sharper Image also used gift certificates to keep traffic at its site cooking.
The Sharper Image is known for presenting a rigorously uniform face across its web, catalog and stores -- but it also knows when to break with that policy to harness the unique properties of different channels for effective cross-channel marketing. In fact, a web-only offer that drove web customers into its 110 stores after the cut-off date for Christmas delivery for web orders helped produce lifts for the San Francisco-based gift and gadget retailer at the tail end of the holiday season.
“We had a lot of last-minute shoppers on the web, but after Dec. 22, we couldn’t get people their packages before Christmas,” says President and COO Tracy Wan. But with two more shopping days left in the season, Sharper Image offered registered web shoppers $10 off a $50 purchase to get them into its stores. “That’s an example of using the web to drive sales in other channels,” says Wan. Sharper Image also saw an uptick near the end of the season in the purchase of virtual gift certificates that could be delivered instantly online and redeemed in any channel, an offer it marketed as “Turn being late into being great.” Online sales of the virtual gift certificates saw a lift of about 20% to 30% in additional units of sales in the last few days of the season, says Wan. “We had some really big days at the end of the season,” she adds. “It makes sense to do some things differently on the web than in your other channels.”