November 30, 2004, 12:00 AM

Computers / Electronics / CDs / DVDs: Staying ahead in a high-tech market

(Page 2 of 5)

Best Buy Co. Inc.
7601 Penn Ave. South Richfield, MN 55423
Date Launched
1998
Unique visitors (monthly)
8,179,000*
Annual Web-Based Sales
$928,140,000**
Vendor Relationships
Site Design
In-house
E-Commerce Platform
ATG
Web Hosting
NA
Site Search
Verity
Content Management
Interwoven, Vignette
Order Management
In-house
Payment Processor
Clear Commerce
Fulfillment
Yantra, in-house

Affiliate Marketing Management
Commission Junction, In-house
Search Engine Management
Inceptor
E-Mail Marketing
Unica
Web Analytics
WebSideStory
Content Delivery Network
Akamai Technologies
*comScore Networks report, October 2004


Blockbuster.com
Raising its game

After years of flying below the radar in the online movie rental arena, Blockbuster.com is gaining altitude fast. In August, the retailer relaunched its ho-hum site with the express intent of competing more effectively against rivals such as Netflix.com. Key to the makeover is allowing customers to rent DVDs online and have them mailed to their homes.

The new look came after Blockbuster.com spent two years learning about home delivery and marketing the service through its now shuttered Filmcaddy.com subsidiary, which the company purchased in 2002.

Blockbuster.com`s thrust into online rentals is not only expected to pull in new customers, but provide a lift to the entire online movie rental industry by leveraging the power of its brand. "Blockbuster`s brand is certainly powerful enough to pull customers from competitors like Netflix," says Tod Chanko, entertainment analyst for Jupiter Media. "Their brand is also powerful enough to benefit the whole category by heightening awareness of it."

Since August, more than 50% of customers who rented online from Blockbuster.com had not rented from its stores in the 12 months prior, according to Shane Evangelist, senior vice president and general manager for Blockbuster.com. In addition, Blockbuster has seen an increase in spend rates and in-store visits from existing customers that rent online.

"The site is a way to pull in new customers and enhance customer loyalty," says Evangelist. "One lesson we learned from Filmcaddy.com is that people who shop online still visit the store."

To increase store traffic, Blockbuster is offering online subscribers coupons for two free in-store movie rentals per month. Subscribers pay $17.95 for unlimited rentals of the more than 25,000 DVDs and games. Titles are delivered from the company`s warehouse within three business days and there are no due dates. Customers receive a postage-paid return envelope with each rental.

In 2005, Blockbuster will integrate its 6,000 stores into its distribution channel to guarantee next-day delivery. The multi-channel strategy will also reduce the inventory of older DVD and game releases sitting on shelves.

Blockbuster Inc.
1201 Elm St. Dallas, TX 75270
Date Launched
1999
Unique visitors (monthly)
6,356,000*
Vendor Relationships
Site Design
In-house
E-Commerce Platform
In-house
Web Hosting
NA
Site Search
Mercado Software

Content Management
Vignette
Order Management
In-house
Payment Processor
Cybersource, Chase Merchant Services
Fulfillment
In-house
Affiliate Marketing Management
Performics
Search Engine Management
Avenue A
E-Mail Marketing
In-house
CRM
In-house
Web Analytics
Omniture

Rich Media
Scene7

*comScore Networks report, October 2004


CircuitCity.com
A bold makeover

There comes a time when every Internet retailer must retire its original site design regardless of how many times its has been tweaked. CircuitCity.com came to that conclusion about a year ago when it realized its site had become clogged with such an abundance of information and products that it made shopping--its reason for being--difficult.

The aim was to create a site that simplified navigation and centralized product data and customer product reviews. These ideas culminated in a new web site design by R/GA which was then developed by BroadVision. The new site, which took 11 months to create, debuted in September. Circuit City relied heavily on consumer input before starting the redesign.

"Circuit City`s new web site is a big improvement over its prior site, especially when it comes to product comparisons and information," says Geoff Wissman, vice president with consultants Retail Forward Inc. "They have made a move in the right direction."

Visitors can compare up to five products at once and the information section offers a glossary of technical terms that will help shoppers better understand product specifications. In addition, educational articles, a longstanding feature of the site, are now categorized under a "Click & Learn" section.

"Customers told us we had added a lot to the site over the years, but that the design had become disorganized and hard to navigate," says Fiona Dias, president of Circuit City Direct. "They told us we had a lot of good stuff on the site, but that it was mostly found by their stumbling across it."

Improving how merchandise is categorized has become critical since CircuitCity.com has added 500,000 music titles that can be downloaded to a shopper`s computer. The titles are available through MusicNow, which the retailer purchased in April.

In addition to categorizing product and information better, CircuitCity.com added real-time inventory. Shoppers interested in purchasing a product online and picking it up at a store can check to see availability of merchandise across all of the retailer`s 600 stores. "Circuit City makes good use of marketing integration between its stores and the web site," Wissman says.

Circuit City Stores Inc.
9950 Maryland Dr. Richmond, VA 23233
Date Launched
1991
Unique visitors (monthly)
6,657,000*
Annual Web-Based Sales
$440,820,000**
Vendor Relationships
Site Design
RG/A
E-Commerce Platform
BroadVision

Web Hosting
In-house
Site Search
Endeca Technologies
Content Management
In-house
Order Management
In-house
Payment Processor
Fifth Third Bank
Fulfillment
In-house
Affiliate Marketing Management
Commission Junction
Search Engine Management
Advertising.com, iProspect
E-Mail Marketing
CheetahMail
Web Analytics
WebTrends

Content Delivery Network
Speedera Networks

Rich Media
Sharpe Partners
*comScore Networks report, October 2004
**Internet Retailer Top 300 Guide est., 2003


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