5/05/09

The Shoe Gallery’s retail site brings new customers to the regional chain

Since the launch of its e-commerce site six months ago, The Shoe Gallery has begun selling products from its five retail stores in the Southeast to customers across the country, says Will Brooks, controller.

Katie Evans , Managing Editor, International Research

For The Shoe Gallery, its six-month-old e-commerce site ShoeGalleryOnline.com has become the sixth door to its five retail stores in the Southeastern U.S.

When the e-commerce site first went live, only existing customers were ordering from the online store, says Will Brooks, Shoe Gallery controller.

“Now that it’s cranking, we’re selling to customers across the country,” he says. “That is the real benefit. The sixth door spans the country. We’re shipping all over-California, Maine, North Dakota, Miami, just everywhere.”

Before Shoe Gallery launched the e-commerce site-developed by Celerant Technology Corp.-its online presence consisted of a brochure site listing store hours, locations and directions, and limited information on products. The e-commerce site lists a wide variety of products and styles sold in the retailer’s five stores.

“We treat the five stores as basically warehouses, so the web site gives us a sixth door, effectively another view into the five stores inventories,” Brooks says.

Celerant’s multichannel technology helps retailers manage the point of sale in bricks-and-mortar stores, inventory, warehousing, e-commerce, mail order and other operations. In addition, using Celerant’s technology, when a certain style of shoe is sold out in a store, it’s automatically removed from the web site in real time, Brooks says.

In designing the e-commerce site, Celerant included features such as zoom and a special web page where customers can sift through popular brands sold by the retailer. Celerant also embedded search engine optimization into the site design, along with the ability to feed product listings into price comparison sites, Brooks says.

The result has been an increase in sales, although Brooks declined to give specifics.

“We’ve been very pleased with the growth, going from an order a day to multiple, multiple, multiple orders per day in a very short period of time,” he says. “We’re very pleased with the trajectory of the site, with the unique visitors who are coming to the site, and as a consequence, the conversions into sales.”

Brooks says that Shoe Gallery expects to add more products to the site as well as increase online marketing, but first wants to make sure the company can handle the increased demand.

“We want volume to continue to go upwards but we also want to be mindful of fulfilling orders quickly and accurately,” he says. “We’re going to grow the site as quickly as we can handle it within our company.”

The Shoe Gallery and ShoeGalleryOnline.com are operated by Roswell, GA-based C&W; Shoes of Georgia, which has stores in Georgia, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

Topics:

business, Information technology management, Planet Shoes, Technology Internet, Zappos.com

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