1/24/11

Benchmark Brands plans to enter mobile commerce in April

With sales up 31% in 2010, FootSmart.com goes mobile this year.

Mark Brohan , Research Director

Having posted solid growth in 2010, Benchmark Brands Inc. will make a big push to go mobile this year and continue to segment its online marketing program, says CEO Alan Beychok.

Last year, Benchmark Brands, No. 183 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, recorded web sales of $87.5 million, an increase of 31% over $66.8 million in 2009.

In 2010, after two years of moderate growth, Benchmark, which operates FootSmart.com, concentrated on updating its data feeds to online marketplaces and shopping comparison sites, adding new site search technology from Endeca Technologies and refocusing its e-mail marketing program.

This year Benchmark expects to roll out an optimized version of FootSmart.com for smartphone users by the end of April. Benchmark will use CardinalCommerce Corp., an e-commerce and m-commerce technology provider, to build and maintain the platform, says Beychok. “The penetration of smartphone users on our existing e-commerce site is already spiking,” he says.

The new mobile site will be straightforward in design and easy to use, he says. Keeping mobile commerce basic and straightforward will appeal to FootSmart.com’s older audience of baby boomer shoppers. “We keep mobile commerce focused on our main users,” says Beychok.

Also this year, Benchmark Brands will use Commission Junction, a unit of ValueClick Inc., as its new affiliate marketing services provider and plans to introduce more instructional and “how-to” content, including more specific videos and photos.

“We are bullish on 2011 and expect good growth,” says Beychok.

Topics:

Alan Beychok, Benchmark Brands, CardinalCommerce Corp., data feeds, Footsmart.com, mobile commerce, Top 500

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