November 17, 2005, 12:00 AM

CircuitCity.com’s fast payoff from 24-minute fulfillment

Circuit City is seeing increased sales and customer traffic in stores thanks to making its new 24/24 in-store pickup guarantee a key component of its advertising strategy.

Circuit City is seeing increased sales and customer traffic in stores thanks to making its new 24/24 in-store pickup guarantee a key component of its advertising strategy. Launched earlier this year, 24/24 guarantees customers that items ordered online will be ready for in-store pickup in 24 minutes or they receive a $24 gift card.

Circuit City began to highlight the service in its ad campaign during the fourth quarter as a way to promote multi-channel shopping, according to Fiona Dias, chief marketing officer for Circuit City. The revenues generated from 24/24 have grown faster than Circuit City anticipated.

“We are very surprised at how fast use of 24/24 has built,” says Dias. “Most multi-channel retailers include the URL for their site at the end of their ads, we decided to play it up in our ads and on our site as a way to drive multi-channel sales. This is our way of saying we make shopping simpler.”

24/24 is expected to give CircuitCity.com an edge during the peak holiday shopping season, a time when many consumers prefer to shop online to avoid in-store crowds, but worry about timely delivery from online retailers.

“Closely integrating the online and in-store channels can advantageously position a retailer in the minds of their customers,” says Geoff Wissman, vice president with consultants Retail Forward.

Dias adds that CircuitCity.com selected the 24-minute fulfillment guarantee because it was seeking a time frame that grabbed people’s attention, a la Lens Crafters’ promise of glasses in 60 minutes or less, and as a play on the Internet’s 24/7 shopping capabilities. “We also wanted to create a guarantee that maybe seemed a little absurd to our competitors, but which we knew we could manage and would make our online shopping experience simpler,” says Dias. “Now we have competitors inquiring how to do it.”

 

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