September 27, 2004, 12:00 AM

Internet search introduces REI customers to stores, too

As more consumers initiate their online shopping through Internet search engines, multi-channel retailer REI is learning how to make sure web shoppers find its stores as well as its web site, vice president of multi-channel programs Joan Broughton says.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

As more consumers initiate their online shopping through Internet search engines, multi-channel retailer REI Inc. is learning how to make sure web shoppers find its stores as well as its web site, vice president of multi-channel programs Joan Broughton says.

“You can’t assume that everyone who comes to your site through Internet search will go through an orderly progression to know you have stores,” Broughton says. And because web search is likely to bring shoppers to an inside product page instead of to a home page, she adds, consumers who may be newcomers to the REI brand may not readily see an indication–a store locator tool, for example–of a retailer’s multi-channel status.

REI has addressed this potential void with a link to its store locator on every page. Although placing a store locator link on each page initially served to provide a more consistent page design, allowing shoppers to check store locations from any point of site navigation, it has since become a crucial tool for informing newcomers to the REI brand who may prefer shopping in a store, Broughton says. “At first, this may have served as more of a convenience, but now it’s becoming a necessity,” she says.

 

 

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