February 10, 2003, 12:00 AM

How direct links from maker to retailer boost conversion rates

Dozens of online retailers are experiencing sharply higher web sales conversion rates through a web services-based system that links shoppers from manufacturers` web sites, Channel Intelligence says.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Dozens of online retailers are experiencing sharply higher web sales conversion rates through a web services-based system that links shoppers from manufacturers` web sites, Rob Wight, CEO of Channel Intelligence Inc., which provides the web site connections, tells Internet Retailer. Key to the system`s success, he says, is the ability of web services to quickly integrate manufacturers` sites with retailers` inventory records, allowing shoppers to see near-real-time updates of product availability.

The Channel Intelligence system is also designed to enable shoppers to transfer from the product image on a manufacturer`s site to a retailer`s buy page in two mouse clicks. The combination of the quick links and the inventory updates, Wight says, provides for an improved shopping experience that has resulted in 4 to 10 times more leads from manufacturers` sites converted into sales on the retailers` sites. That`s in comparison to the number of sales conversions from earlier versions of linked manufacturers` and retailers` sites before Channel Intelligence implemented its web services platform, he says.

Before the current system was put into place, shoppers on manufacturers’ sites who were ready to buy would link to a retailer’s site, then have to search the retailer’s site for the desired product. Often the retailer’s site did not indicate whether it was in stock. "We`ve heard from some manufacturers that these increased rates of conversions have resulted in up to 30% increases in corresponding online sales of particular products," Wight adds.

Channel Intelligence, which launched its service with Panasonic in December 2001, is working with 50 manufacturers and 150 retailers, including Tweeter and Sears.com. Many of the retailers connect with multiple manufacturers.

 

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