October 28, 2011, 1:53 PM

Casual Male has big plans for new e-commerce site DestinationXL.com

The site includes big and tall men’s apparel from its five other stores.

Allison Enright

Editor

Lead Photo

The Casual Male Retail Group Inc. is taking a new approach to its e-commerce business by enhancing the tools and features on its five existing e-retail sites, while also launching a sixth site, DestinationXL.com, that aggregates the merchandise sold on all the sites. The company says it will launch within a month an aggressive and targeted marketing plan to draw new customers to DestinationXL.com.

Casual Male Retail Group, No. 330 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, sells apparel for tall and large men across e-retail properties that include Casual Male XL, Rochester Big & Tall and Shoes XL. The company describes DestinationXL.com as a one-stop-shop concept designed to make big and tall men’s shopping more convenient and enjoyable. The company, which operates more than 450 retail stores across its brand names, also has opened 10 DestinationXL retail stores so far this year and says it will open 10 more by the end of the year. Those retail stores also sell merchandise from across its retail properties.

On the web, consumers who type in CasualMale.com are redirected to a page that showcases all of the company’s store brands with the primary URL of destinationXL.com. Consumers can shop across all the e-retail stores using a universal shopping cart that was added when DestinationXL.com debuted last month after nearly two years of development, says Jay Nigrelli, director of e-commerce for Casual Male Retail Group.

The site design also includes consumer reviews and faceted search for the first time. Review software vendor PowerReviews Inc. supplies the review technology. Faceted search helps consumers quickly find the style, size and color they prefer. For example, a faceted search in the sweater category lets consumers narrow their choices by brand, size, color, sleeve length, material and collar type. Consumers can also create personalized size profiles that save their sizes. They then see only products that are available in their preferred sizes when they visit the site. Consumers who make a purchase can also for the first time opt to have that item shipped to a nearby store.

Nigrelli says the retailer also improved the site’s product zoom tool, alternate product view tool and the video capabilities of the site. It now uses Adobe Scene7 for product zoom.

Coinciding with its new online look, the company says it will soon begin using a prospecting tool online to draw new customers to DestinationXL.com. The technology, from CrossPixel Media, will let the company target display ads to consumers that are already shopping for big and tall apparel on the web, but have not yet visited a Casual Male Retail Group e-retail site. CrossPixel, through its data suppliers, knows when a consumer has searched for a term related to the Casual Male’s target market and where that consumer went as a result of that search. For example, if a consumer searches for “XXL dress shirt” on Google and followed a result to Macys.com, CrossPixel can then show a banner ad to that consumer directing them to DestinationXL.com. CrossPixel operates on a cost per acquisition basis.  

That approach is a departure from Casual Male’s more typical customer acquisition techniques, says Nigrelli. For instance, the retailer has long bid on a slew of of paid search terms related to its market, as well as mailed catalogs to consumers the company believes fit its demographics. “This cross-targeting model allows us to prospect with a low risk and target a cost ratio,” he says.

Casual Male also uses retargeting, which shows consumers who have visited a Casual Male e-retail site ads based on their previous on-site behavior. The company uses ad retargeting vendor Criteo for that ad tool.

Nigrelli says the CrossPixel-placed and retargeting ad approaches work together to generate sales. “This definitely supplements our program with Criteo right now,” he says. “We can target to new customers, get them to the site, and then use Criteo to remarket to them. This now will get customers at the beginning of the buying funnel and at the end.”

Casual Male Retail Group had Internet Retailer-estimated  sales of $28.5 million in 2010.

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