May 24, 2012, 10:01 AM

MovieMars adjusts prices based on where shoppers discover its products

The DVD retailer uses a ShopVisible feature to manage its pricing strategy.

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As a retailer of movies, music and books, Movie Mars Inc.’s products have thin margins.

“In our space we try to squeeze every penny out of a transaction that we can,” says the retailer’s CEO Daniel Yen.

That’s why, when the retailer last year decided to relaunch its web site Yen paid heed when a representative from its new e-commerce platform provider ShopVisible LLC mentioned that its software made it easy to hook into a number of comparison shopping engines, many of which it wasn’t on before. And the system also enables a retailer to develop a dynamic pricing strategy based on other sellers’ prices on each comparison shopping engine. That means that if the lowest-priced DVD on comparison shopping engine A is $9.99, the system automatically adjusts MovieMars’ price from $8 to $9.50, boosting its margin. While Yen declined to disclose the net effect of the tool, he notes that it has been “very positive.”

In addition to dynamic pricing, the move to a ShopVisible platform increased the site’s page load times, which were slowed on its previous site thanks tothe large number of images associated with the retailer’s nearly 900,000 SKUs. By caching the SKUs’ unique images on ShopVisible’s content delivery network, MovieMars freed up its servers to focus on transactions, says Yen.

The retailer’s old site was built in-house and offered consumers little more than the ability to select an item to buy and check out. The new site offers shoppers broader site search capabilities—consumers can search for an item by title, actor, author, and auto-complete helps narrow the search while they type. Moreover, MovieMars was able to add promotional capabilities, such as the ability to create and process coupon codes. “We wanted an entirely new look and feel to the site,” he says. “ShopVisible enabled us to have that.”

MovieMars, No. 256 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, also sells on the eBay and Amazon marketplaces.

Yen and Sean Cook, CEO of ShopVisible will discuss strategies for managing inventory at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 next month in a session titled “Managing inventory in a hyper-fast world.”

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