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A series of straightforward site design changes such as making its brand more prominent on product pages is helping AmeriMark.com grow its quarterly web sales by more than 50%, says e-commerce manager Justin Wolford.
Not all web site redesigns need to rely on major design changes or new technical bells and whistles to spark increased sales. During a recent redesign, AmeriMark Direct LLC discovered that simply placing an emphasis on basic customer service, corporate branding and weekly promotions can result in more customer traffic and sales.
AmeriMark, No. 392 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, has been in the direct marketing business since 1969 and has sold women’s apparel, cosmetics, fragrances and other products online for more than five years.
But the company wasn’t placing enough emphasis on online branding and merchandising. “We weren’t doing enough online to really connect with our core shoppers who are mature women between 55 and 64,” says Justin Wolford, AmeriMark e-commerce manager. “We were treating the web as just another channel.”
To attract more shoppers and generate more interest among core customers, AmeriMark began internally redesigning its e-commerce site and introduced a new home page and product pages in August.
But rather than make wholesale technical changes during the redesign, AmeriMark instead made simple marketing and merchandising improvements. For instance, the new home page now features seasonal merchandising themes and weekly promotions. Previously new promotions were displayed only each month.
AmeriMark also began emphasizing its brand more prominently on its customer service pages and in e-mail campaigns. “We are now reminding people that we’ve been in business since 1969, employ more than 500 people and have strong Midwestern values,” Wolford says. "The redesign gave us a chance to let our mature customers know we are an established company and a safe place to shop."
AmeriMark publishes seven catalogs such as Anthony Richards, Beauty Boutique, Complements by Anthony Richards, Essentials by Anthony Richards and Healthy Living, but operates one e-commerce site that carries an online inventory of about 7,500 SKUs.
In addition, the redesign is doing a better job of generating cross-sells and upsells. “Our upsell products were stale and were not being updated on a regular basis,” Wolford says.
The redesign also helped AmeriMark.com increase its third quarter e-commerce sales by more than 50% compared to just 21% in the first quarter. “We took advantage of the redesign to build better customer relationships and the brand,” Wolford says.