January 31, 2005, 12:00 AM

Web-based product videos step up marketing at Marks Work Warehouse

At apparel and accessories chain Marks Work Warehouse, product demonstration videos shown on new web-based kiosks are helping the retailer sell unusual products like fiberglass reinforced safety work boots, Marks says.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

At apparel and accessories chain Marks Work Warehouse Ltd., product demonstration videos shown on new web-based kiosks are helping the retailer sell unusual products like fiberglass reinforced safety work boots, Kevin Mathiesen, material manager for store design, tells InternetRetailer.com.

Marks, a division of Canadian Tire with more than 300 stores, tested the web-based videos in six stores last year and expects to install them in 60 more stores by this fall, Mathiesen says. The kiosk-based video system is from Digital View Inc. in New York.

Although Marks isn’t releasing the video system’s impact in number of incremental sales, the system has exceeded expectations, Mathiesen says. “Our marketing people are excited about the effect on sales, so we feel the value is there,” he says.

The kiosks serve a dual purpose: serving up a mixture of promotional and product demonstration videos for customers and, after hours, training videos for store employees.

Managers at Marks headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, log onto the video system, which is hosted on the web by Digital View, to administer video content and schedules for each store. “We can go right down to each unit, down to telling each unit when to play a video, at what time, and how often,” Mathiesen says.

Marks does not provide store managers web access to the system. Instead, store managers can insert video cartridges into individual display units for employee training purposes or for special unscheduled promotions or product demonstrations. But even when store managers insert video cartridges, headquarters can always view and change content from the web, Mathiesen says.

The system’s early success is encouraging Marks to market a wider range of unusual products that can benefit from video displays, he adds.

 

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