June 13, 2006, 12:00 AM

Interstate Batteries re-launches web site to handle broader product range

With its product line doubled to 10,000 SKUs, Interstate Batteries is seeing a boost in sales on a new web site designed to be more customer-focused, the retailer says.

 

With its product line doubled to 10,000 SKUs, Interstate Batteries is seeing a boost in sales on a new web site designed to be more customer-focused, senior manager of e-commerce Harold Ferrari tells InternetRetailer.com.

The Dallas-based retailer operates 50 stores and also sells through 200,000 other retail locations, but it’s turning to its new site at IBSA.com to promote an expanded line of batteries for a general range of consumer electronics, Ferrari says.

Interstate Batteries handled the re-design in-house, but is using Endeca Technologies site search-and-navigation technology to make it easier for shoppers to find particular batteries, he adds. “In the past, shoppers on our site needed more complete information in order to find products,” Ferrari says. “Now our site allows them to just identify general attributes that are meaningful to them, such as the basic model name of their cell phone.”

Launched in March, sales on the new site through May are double the year-ago period and up 18% over the three months prior to the launch, Ferrari says, adding: “We’re anticipating 100% year-over-year growth in the fiscal year that started in May.” Interstate does over $700 million a year in total sales, mostly in car batteries that are sold only through its physical outlets. Although web sales now make up less than 1% of sales, online sales may grow even faster as Interstate begins to sell car batteries online, Ferrari says.

The new site also features more prominent links to customer service and it displays BizRate customer testimonials, which appear on every page. “We’ve definitely seen higher conversion rates with the testimonials,” Ferrari says, noting that about 2% of buyers fill out the online testimonial forms.

 

 

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