July 10, 2009, 12:00 AM

AllAmericanDirect.com aims to create excellent customer experience

AllAmericanDirect.com, a retailer of consumer electronics and satellite services, this month began a transformation it hopes will create a customer experience to rival that of top online retailers such as Amazon.com and Overstock.com.

 

AllAmericanDirect.com, a retailer of consumer electronics and satellite services, this month began a transformation it hopes will create a customer experience to rival that of top online retailers such as Amazon.com and Overstock.com.

The retailer, which started more than 10 years ago as a reseller of satellite systems, is expanding its product categories to include home and garden, entertainment, seasonal items, jewelry and soft goods. The transformation began this month with the addition of home and garden products, and will continue with the addition of more product categories and a redesigned web site scheduled for launch in August, says Shawn Schwegman, director of marketing and e-commerce.

“We’ve got pretty aggressive plans,” Schwegman says. “About two months ago, we had maybe 300 or 400 products; we probably have about 600 now. And when we launch our new web site, tentatively set for Aug. 3, we’ll have probably at least 1,000 products.”

By year-end, AllAmericanDirect.com will sell between 5,000 and 10,000 items and by the end of the first quarter of 2010, close to tens of thousands, he says. “We’re really kind of trying to penetrate the home room by room, starting with the living room and moving out from there,” he says.

In addition to adding home and garden and entertainment products such as books, music, movies and video games, AllAmericanDirect.com will be adding Halloween products in September and gift items for the Christmas season in November and December. In December and January, the site will add jewelry, apparel and other soft goods, Schwegman says.

“This year we’ll be focusing on brand names, then next year we might start a private-label program where we’ll have goods manufactured specifically for us out of China,” he says.

The site redesign will focus on making AllAmericanDirect.com easier to use. “The new site is focused on simplifying the buying processing and easing the customer experience,” says Schwegman, former senior vice president of technology at Overstock.com, No. 29 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “We’ve taken the best-of-breed approach from the top retailers that are out there to catch up in terms of user experience.”

AllAmericanDirect.com won’t release details of the redesign, but Schwegman says that it will add features and functionality over the next year that will set the site apart.

“We’re probably one of the only retailers that can create very simplistic bundles that will simplify the buying process for consumers,” he says. “For example, you could come in and buy an entertainment package that includes Dish Network bundled with a TV and a TV stand.” Why can’t others do that?

 

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