August 2, 2011, 5:17 PM

Blinds.com seeks to raise the bar of competition

The web retailer launches a free-exchange policy on custom measured blinds.

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Blinds.com is opening a window on a new branding strategy, one that has coincided with a 25% year-over-year lift in sales through the first seven months of this year, chief marketing officer Daniel Cotlar says.

“In the past we didn’t have a strong brand voice, but in the last few months we’ve worked on rebranding as a market leader,” he says. A recent online advertising campaign has been designed around the tagline, “You don’t have to know Jack,” which the retailer explains means that shoppers don’t have to know a jack-of-all-trades to find and install window treatments if they shop at Blinds.com.

Another key part of the branding effort is a guarantee launched about two months ago that addresses the biggest reason why consumers shy away from ordering window blinds online—their fear of ordering online blinds that don’t fit once they get them home and try to install them, Cotlar says. “People are afraid of screwing something up in the measurements,” he says. “But with our new policy, if you make a mistake, we remake it for free.”

The retailer’s new “SureFit—Guaranteed to Fit” policy, which covers most of Blinds.com’s products, lets customers return their incorrectly measured products and exchange them for free, paying only for any price difference for higher-priced blinds. To participate, a customer must request an exchange within 15 days of receiving her order. Customers don’t have to pay for shipping, whether receiving or returning products.

Blinds.com, No. 215 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has also taken several steps to minimize the number of orders that result in inaccurately ordered blinds, Cotlar says. These include automated alerts that pop up if customers choose the wrong fixtures, step-by-step online instructions in how to measure for window treatments, and contact center agents specially trained in helping shoppers order the right products.

“There’s no longer a strong reason for anyone to be afraid anymore of ordering blinds,” Cotlar says. The sure-fit guarantee, he adds, led to an immediate boost in conversion rates, though Cotlar gave no figures.

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