January 1, 2011, 12:00 AM

BIG decision

(Page 3 of 3)

The retailer’s lean team of software experts, including newcomers with WebSphere expertise, spends more time modifying the new platform than it ever did with the old platform. “We do more of our own tweaking now,” Mansker says, noting that the new site has 3-click checkout and a persistent shopping cart that shoppers can view from any page. “But it’s 100% worth it.”

Even small tweaks make a difference. When shoppers complained that online “Bonus Buy” deals didn’t also accept coupons, merchandisers quickly clarified the offer, and customer complaints ceased. “When we get customer feedback, we want to be able to react in real time,” Mansker says. Since launching its new site in September, Bon-Ton has been running double-digit percentage increases in sales compared to a year ago, Mansker adds.

As Bon-Ton and other retailers can attest, finding the right e-commerce platform opens up opportunities that make the hard work of selecting a vendor well worthwhile.

paul@verticalwebmedia.com

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