3/07/07

Road Runner Sports keeping pace with web marketing

Road Runner Sports’ web sales growth held steady for 2006 at 7%, but the direct marketer and multi-channel retailer expects e-commerce to expand in future years.

Bill Briggs , Senior Editor

Road Runner Sports Inc.’s web sales growth held steady for 2006 at 7%, compared to 7.14% for 2005. But the direct marketer and multi-channel retailer expects e-commerce to expand in future years, says Peter Taylor, general manager.

“We are at the point of understanding print media and how it drives online sales. In 2006 we had modest, but expected, growth. We will invest in print, but expect the web to carry more weight. There is still an opportunity for more efficient marketing on the web than we can get out of print,” Taylor says. Road Runner’s sales mix is 40% web, 40% catalog and 20% stores.

Road Runner, No. 154 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, embarked on a technology upgrade in 2006, beginning with a new e-commerce platform from ATG. The application will enable more site personalization and more powerful scenario-based marketing and merchandizing, Taylor says. “It will help us build content and the ‘community’ part of the business,” he adds.

The company also upgraded its analytics technology and deployed e-mail marketing software from e-Dialog Inc. “The web site is more natural-search friendly than it has been in the past. For example, product reviews are more easily managed by customers now,” Taylor says.

Road Runner moved its print catalogs online, which has helped tie the three marketing threads together, Taylor says. And customers now can build and access their profiles more efficiently. “That’s part of our overall strategy: A web business that’s consistent with what we do in print and retail,” he adds.

The company plans to extend customer interaction across its web site in 2007. It opened five new stores in 2006 and plans to add 10 more this year.

Topics:

business finance, marketing, multichannel retailer, Retailing, Technology Internet

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