It’s not often that an online retailer benefits from another e-commerce site’s redesign, but that’s just what happened to Replacements.com.
Replacements.com-which sells hard-to-find or discontinued china, silver flatware and crystal pieces-experienced a 61% increase in site visits referred from Oneida.com after the dinnerware and flatware manufacturer launched a redesigned site in May 2006. Sales from those Oneida referrals increased 70%, says Michael Lamphier, vice president of marketing, Replacements Ltd.
“We definitely saw a change from the redesign,” Lamphier says.
Oneida’s redesigned web site includes new features such as the Pattern Identifier tool, which allows customers to search for flatware by the name stamped on the back of the utensil, type of metal, design (floral/plain/other) or store where it was purchased. If the pattern is out of production or out of stock, Oneida.com provides a direct link to Replacements.com.
The online referral is an extension of a long-time relationship between Oneida and Replacements.com, No. 174 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, Lamphier says. Previously, Oneida’s outlet stores and customer service representatives referred customers to the site.
During discussions about Oneida.com’s redesign, “the subject came up whether it made sense to include an online version of what was already happening offline,” he says. “If they didn’t have the product, they provided the customer with a service by linking them over to us.”
Another decision by Oneida-posting its entire inventory, including discontinued items online-also helped boost sales for Replacements.com, Lamphier says. “It made the likelihood that a customer would find their own pattern much greater,” he says.