January 4, 2005, 12:00 AM

Keeping product posting so simple ‘a surfer can do it’

Frequent changes in the merchandise mix keep customers coming back to the K5 Board Shop web site, and having the right template makes that easy, owner Tom Shultz tells Internet Retailer. “Even a bunch of surfers can do it,” he says.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Frequent changes in the merchandise mix keep customers coming back to the K5 Board Shop web site, and having the right template makes that easy, owner Tom Shultz tells InternetRetailer.com “You have a set format and set templates and that way even a bunch of surfers can do it,” says Shultz.

The 17-year-old business, which operates two bricks-and-mortar surf, skate and snowboarding stores in the San Diego area, derives its name from the original shop’s distance from the beach–5 kilometers. Now, however, the store’s gone international with the help of the Internet.

A year after entering the world of e-commerce, K5 is offering 14,000 products on its own site and using product feeds to post as many as 2,000 products to various shopping sites, such as Froogle and Yahoo Shopping. EBay and others are coming soon.

It happens with the help of a back-end system from Cowell eMarketing, also of San Diego. Company president Frank Cowell describes his product as having the ease of use but with custom functions. He says he has changed the functionality to help K5 offer surf and snow reports, a wish list, a product index, a bestseller list, featured products, featured vendors and an e-commerce package that allows access to the shopping sites.

The Cowell system, which is also available to e-commerce development firms, helps K5 “slice and dice” data, says Cowell. He provides the example of tracking a shopper who comes to the K5 site from the Billabong site but winds up buying another swimsuit brand at K5. In another example, K5 can find out which customers made purchases after receiving an e-mail marketing message.

To help place K5 higher in organic searches, Cowell makes sure search engine spiders read the site’s page URLs as static, not dynamic, Cowell says, adding that engines usually can’t read dynamic pages. Just the same, he cautions against relying on organic search for a large share of a company’s business because the rules for placing high in organic search can change. “You can go from No. 1 to page 10” if the search engine changes the algorithms, he says.

 

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