June 12, 2008, 12:00 AM

Skechers kicks off growth in online sales

Footwear manufacturer, retailer and wholesaler Skechers has nearly doubled online sales over the past three years with a more shopper-friendly web site, vice president of direct marketing and e-commerce Laura Christine said at IRCE 2008.

Footwear manufacturer, retailer and wholesaler Skechers USA Inc. has nearly doubled online sales over the past three years with a more shopper-friendly web site, vice president of direct marketing and e-commerce Laura Christine said at IRCE 2008.

“Our only goal is to increase sales,” Christine said in the session, “Manufacturers Enter the E-Retailing Mainstream.”

Skechers, No. 362 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, started in 2005 to rebuild what had been an ineffective retail web site, Christine said. “It was a bad site with slow search and a poor store locator,” she said, adding that Skechers at the time also had no dedicated e-commerce staff.

Christine joined Skechers in 2005 to head its e-commerce operations. Among the several changes made since then are a shopping cart streamlined to three from eight pages, real-time credit card processing, an upgraded customer service environment supported by live chat; the deployment of customer reviews; marketing through multiple affiliate networks; and a more effective e-mail marketing program tied to a loyalty program, she said.

Skechers also “cleaned up” its inventory management, providing more effective up-sell and cross-sell offers along with guided navigation, Christine said.

To help decide on what improvements to make, Skechers benchmarks its online features against those offered by its major competitors and gathers customer feedback on the overall shopping experience on Skechers.com. “We do surveys to ask customers what’s most important to them,” Christine said.

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