January 24, 2007, 12:00 AM

Tech tools help Your Electronic Warehouse grow web sales by 82%

Your Electronic Warehouse, the flagship web retailer for 1st in Music-Video World, used marketing tools and manufacturer agreements to achieve an 82% increase in online sales for 2006 above the previous year.

Your Electronic Warehouse, the flagship web retailer for 1st in Music-Video World, used marketing tools and manufacturer agreements to generate an 82% increase in online sales for 2006.

Your Electronic Warehouse specializes in electronics and other household products and is No. 481 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites. DiscountGolfWorld was added in 2006, but the large majority of growth came from the electronics business, says Justin Meats, information technology director.

The upsurge comes in part from e-commerce tools introduced in 2006. Your Electronic Warehouse added content delivery software from Akamai and customer review technology from Power Reviews earlier in the year, and live chat technology from LivePerson in the fall. The company also developed a Javascript rich media product viewer in-house.

The content delivery network was the most important e-commerce addition, Meats says, citing improved site performance. “Our conversion rate went up from the 2005 average of 0.7% to 1%,” he says. “For December it was around 2%.”

The retailer made a number of changes at the same time, however, so it’s difficult to say which variable had the biggest effect, he adds.

Live chat was less of a factor because of its late rollout. Plus, at the beginning of the holiday shopping season customer service reps were so busy they weren’t logging in regularly.

Sales growth for 2006 also resulted from sales agreements with major electronics gear makers that identify Your Electronic Warehouse as an authorized dealer. “What sets us apart from others is that we are Internet-authorized for all we sell,” Meats says. “We sell at the manufacturer’s minimum advertised price and Bose unilateral pricing.”

Those pricing agreements are not followed by many below-market electronics retailers, which undercuts the manufacturers’ sales and puts buyers at risk of purchasing knock-offs, he explains. Buying from unauthorized dealers also can void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Plans for 2007 include integrating Secure E-Bill software and adding site performance monitoring and order management applications, Meats adds.

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