November 23, 2010, 2:15 PM

Meijer predicts online holiday sales will double

Meijer expects holiday free shipping and returns promotions to boost sales. 

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Retail chain Meijer Inc. is aiming to double its online holiday sales this year through a combination of site improvements and holiday promotions. Starting Nov. 22, the company is offering free shipping and returns on orders of $50 and higher.

“We’ve implemented a number of steps that translate directly into more deals for customers, including eliminating shipping costs for thousands of items, introducing fun promotions, and overhauling the design of the site to make it easier to find products and get answers to any questions,” says Dawn Bronkema, director e-commerce marketing, Meijer, No. 361 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

“Given the tough economy we’re in, it’s a bold prediction to say you’ll double sales, but it’s one that we feel confident in making,” Bronkema says. She did not provide a dollar amount for projected sales.

Meijer.com is offering a “Big Steal” promotion online that features a discounted item every 24 hours during the holiday season. The e-commerce site also is featuring the “Holiday Dash” game in which visitors try to beat the clock by picking items in room settings that are under or over certain dollar amounts. Each week, Meijer will give away products such as a Nintendo Wii and a GPS Navigator to a winner picked randomly from entrants and $100 in Meijer gift cards as instant prizes daily to the fastest entrant.

“With Holiday Dash, customers can browse products in a more fun, interactive way than a catalog. They can even share their scores in Facebook and see if they can beat their friends,” says Bronkema.

Meijer improved its site navigation over the last several months by moving categories to the left side of the pages with pull-down subcategories appearing when shoppers mouse over the category name. “It’s making it much easier for shoppers to find the products that they’re looking for,” Bronkema says. The upgraded site navigation also has helped improve natural search results on Google, she says.

Also ahead of the holiday season, the company implemented a single-page checkout process that has decreased cart abandonment by 10%, Bronkema says.

Meijer has stores in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Its online sales outside of those states account for more than half of all its online transactions, the company says.

 

 

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