The web is responsible for a lot of retail business practices that don’t-indeed, can’t-exist in the offline world. Take “web producer.” Dell Computer Corp. has created a web producer position, who is the point person for a product line’s success on the web. “The web producer is the champion for metrics like conversion rates,” Sam Decker, senior manager of Dell’s Consumer eBusiness told the eTail conference last month. “The idea of giving someone ownership of that measure is so powerful.”
Dell’s consumer business last year accounted for $5 billion of total revenue of $32.5 billion and the web delivered 50% of that revenue.
Dell has assigned a web producer for every major product line on its site. That person coordinates metric analysts, content developers, product marketers and Internet project managers Much of each web producer’s efforts are directed to improving conversion rates. With conversion rates on a steady incline since 1998, Dell is happy with the web producer idea. “It’s worked for us,” Decker told the conference.