November 16, 2001, 12:00 AM

Why CircuitCity.com’s biggest customer is Circuit City

A service that allows Circuit City in-store sales associates to order out-of-stock or special items for customers from CircuitCity.com accounts for most of the traffic at the site.

Talk about cross-channel integration. The biggest source of traffic at CircuitCity.com is none other than Circuit City itself.

Dennis Bowman, senior vice president and CIO of Circuit City Stores Inc., tells Internet Retailer that the 18-month-old service that allows in-store sales associates to order out-of-stock or special items for store customers from CircuitCity.com accounts for most of the traffic at the site. “This has been huge,” Bowman says. “That side of our business has sales volume that exceeds external sales on our site. Our stores very, very rarely walk a customer because they’re out of an item or it’s a model the store doesn’t carry.”

Key to making such a service work is to reward the sales associates exactly as they are rewarded for in-store sales. “In compensation, we treat the item as if it were sold in the store,” Bowman says. “We have found a tremendous sweet spot.”

Circuit City ships the item for free to the customer’s home or office.

 

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