Each time Pacific Spirit Corp. rebuilds the web site for its six print catalogs, online sales surge. It expects its latest redesign to result in a doubling of 2003 sales over last year. Now web sales are growing so fast that the self-described “New Age” retailer expects the web to soon account for more than a third of all sales. “We don’t think the web will ever catch up to the print channel, but we’re definitely looking at online being 40% of overall sales with a few years,” Tom Frost, web division manager, tells InternetRetailer.com.
Pacific Spirit, a cataloger for 18 years, sells products ranging from Yoga materials and glass crystals to books on spirituality. Its catalogs include Blue Moon, Good Fortunes, Mystic Trader and Whole Life Products, and all of its products are available at PacificSpiritCatalogs.com.
After launching its web site in 2000, Pacific Spirit redesigned it a year later to present online the same page images of its catalogs. It also made the site faster to navigate, resulting in a doubling of online sales from 2001 to 2002. But as its customer base began to broaden, it redesigned again earlier this year to focus more on e-commerce sales instead of presenting its catalog images. The second redesign is now on pace to result in a doubling of sales this year, Frost says.
To help promote customer activity, Pacific has had success with Google AdWords paid listings in search results, and it has been running an online and catalog promotion offering a $500 online spending spree for new customers who register with their e-mail addresses.
For the second redesign, Pacific put its design work out for bid on Elance.com, choosing a design firm based in India that offered low prices and experience in working with catalog companies that sell online. Frost says the design project went well, even though he has not met the design team and has spoken to them on the phone only four times. But he frequently communicates with the team through instant messages, he adds.