May 24, 2006, 12:00 AM

It’s e-catalogs and rich media for

While keeping a lid on major projects this year, the e-retailer is expanding use of rich media and working on an e-catalog.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

Many Internet retailers are in the middle of major technology implementations, new marketing initiatives and different merchandising efforts. This is not the case at, where executives have opted instead for more low-key fine-tuning to afford them a better look at the marketplace.

“We’ve not made large project plans for this year so we can focus on adapting to the changing conditions of online retailing,” says John Miller, e-commerce and information technology director at Hill Corp., the parent of

During this “quiet time,” the company, No. 324 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites, is fine-tuning two aspects of its e-commerce site to address shoppers’ preferences.

The first is expanding the use of rich media in product presentation on the site. “Some of our products’ displays have color-change functionality developed in house. However, we’re expanding on this using technology from Scene7 and adding zoom abilities,” Miller says. “We also are improving our use of multiple product views, especially in our shoe categories. There a shopper can see the left side, right side, front, back, top and bottom of shoes.”

The second item for fine-tuning is the result of an experiment conducted by the company last year-it created its first e-catalog.

“We were surprised how much our customers liked the e-catalog. We launched a test version last summer and the response was extremely positive,” Miller explains. “Consequently, we now are working on improving that sales channel.” sales waltzed up to $13.5 million in 2005, a 23.9% increase over $10.9 million in 2004.


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