Some retailers launched online deals well in advance of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
ComputerGeeks.com is getting ready to launch a major site redesign that will improve customers’ ability to track orders and a simplified shopping cart. Its new marketing will emphasize search, affiliate marketing and greater presence at e-shopping malls.
ComputerGeeks.com is getting ready to launch a major site redesign and undertake the first significant marketing efforts in its history, Peter Green, marketing coordinator, tells InternetRetailer.com. Green says the new site, which is due to launch in the second half of October, will feature a sleeker design and additional functionality. Among the new features will be giving customers greater visibility into their orders, enhanced information about product returns and a simplified shopping cart. The company also plans to host polls and contests on the web site.
ComputerGeeks.com, as its name implies, sells computer equipment and accessories to a technologically-oriented base. It features steep discounts and hard-to-find products. Until recently it focused on sell out, discontinued and product over-runs, but is now expanding its mix. It had sales in 2003 of $32.9 million and is expecting 10% growth this year to $36.2 million. It hosts 1.33 million unique visitors a month, who visit 2.65 million times, Green reports. Its conversion rate is 2.2% with an average order of $124.
Until now, ComputerGeeks.com’s major marketing initiatives have been e-mail and affiliate marketing, word-of-mouth and some consumer magazine advertising. It mails three to five times a week to its base of 165,000 subscribers. It recently hired a full-time affiliate manager and expects to grow its affiliate network to 10,000 this year, with affiliate sales of $5.45 million. Affiliate sales accounted for $4.9 million last year. Affiliate programs generated 31.8 million impressions and 3.2 million click-throughs.
Green says the company has focused search engine marketing initiatives so far on page optimization. It also is expanding its presence at e-shopping malls, including PriceGrabber.com, PriceWatch.com and CNET, and participating in Google AdWords.
A focus on marketing is new for the company. With its steep discounts, ComputerGeeks believed it could not afford to advertise and in fact did not need to because of the loyalty of customers. “The market was very strong and we were able to sell everything that we could buy due to the fact that it was a great deal,” Green says. “We did very little marketing and relied primarily on word of mouth and returning customers. Now that the marketplace has changed considerably and become much more competitive we have changed focus and begun to aggressively market our product and our web site.”