3/20/08

Fortunoff turns to new e-commerce platform to improve performance

Sporting new technology from Fry, home furnishings and jewelry retailer Fortunoff is counting on an entirely retooled e-commerce platform and web site design to improve the fortunes of Fortunoff.com.

Paul Demery , Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Fortunoff is counting on an entirely retooled e-commerce platform and web site design to improve the fortunes of Fortunoff.com.

In recent years, e-commerce sales for Fortunoff.com, No. 270 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, have been essentially flat at about $22 million. The retailer was also barely getting by using an aging e-commerce platform that company web developers built a decade earlier on Microsoft Commerce Server technology.

But these days Fortunoff.com is sporting an entirely new look and a state-of-the-art back end. Rather than keep all of its e-commerce technology development in-house, Fortunoff is now outsourcing the job to Fry Inc. Today, Fry is hosting Fortunoff.com. Fortunoff also worked with Fry on the redesign and is using Fry’s OCP e-commerce platform to manage the site and process transactions.

The move to a new e-commerce system coincides with a decision at Fortunoff to keep its information technology department focused on another big priority: replacing its outdated internal back-end and store systems. “The decision to go outside for hosting and rebuilding the e-commerce site was a good one and a priority for the new owners,” says Fortunoff executive vice president David Fortunoff. “Before we were restricted by what we could do on the web and now we have much more bandwidth.”

With a better design and web technology, Fortunoff.com is gaining new efficiency in several key areas such as content management, payments processing and customer service. With a content management system, Fortunoff can now use multiple product templates or change the site’s product hierarchy and product content without writing new code. Better content management also lets Fortunoff.com display several new tabs of product information on its merchandising pages, post larger images and display more product combinations.

New customer service features include more tools that enable shoppers to update and store their personal information, purchase and ship merchandise to multiple addresses, and provide real-time credit card authorization. Fortunoff also updated its web analytics with a new package from Omniture Inc.

Big changes to its e-commerce operation are the latest in a series of major events for Fortunoff, which sells a variety of finer home accessories, jewelry, watches and other merchandise. In February, after earlier declaring bankruptcy, Fortunoff was acquired for $110 million by Equity Partners LLC, which owns the Lord & Taylor department store chain.

 

Topics:

Commerce, Electronic commerce, Lord & Taylor, Microsoft Commerce Server, Online shopping

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