June 17, 2008, 12:00 AM

Buy.com beefs up its site with new items and features and better navigation

Buy.com has re-launched its e-commerce site, adding new products, a customer forum and a section listing the latest discounts and promotions.

Buy.com has re-launched its e-commerce site adding new products, a customer forum and a section listing the latest discounts and promotions.

The e-retailer, No. 33 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has added a shoe store featuring brands such as Skechers, New Balance and Rockport. It’s also created a customer forum where visitors can post questions about products to be answered by a Buy.com product manager or other consumers, and a deals section where users can check out weekly and daily specials, see product updates and learn about discounts and promotions.

``Our new site offers better user interactivity and a more tailored and personal experience,” says Jeff Wisot, vice president of marketing at Buy.com. “With these additions, finding the right products and making product decisions is even more convenient for shoppers.`` Buy.com says the additions were a response to customer feedback and its analysis of site usage data.

The online merchant also has added several online video reviews and improved search by adding product suggestions to its search results. For example, a user searching for an HDTV may also see a wall mount for the TV or other accessories, a Buy.com spokeswoman says. Other updates include predictive search so that a user who types in the letters Tenn will see a dropdown menu with choices such as Tennis Rackets and Tennis Shoes.

Buy.com has been actively adding Web 2.0 technologies and products to beef up its e-commerce site, ad expects to offer more than 10,000 SKUs on its site by year’s end, CEO Neel Grover told attendees last week at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.

Last year, the retailer added jewelry and watches to its product list and introduced its BuyTV program that offers educational and entertaining content via half-hour programs on broadcast television. The program now is available in Southern California, and Grover said the company plans to make the program available nationally. It’s also hired hip comedian Howie Mandel from the popular game show Deal or no Deal as its spokesperson.

In 2007, Buy.com web sales totaled $614.5 million according to Internet Retailer estimates. In 2000, the company had an operating loss of $130 million, but has since turned its performance around, taking the company private, reducing staff and cutting costs. The company has been profitable for the past 18 months, Grover said.

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