CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
To create more merchandising opportunities on its redesigned e-commerce sites, Norm Thompson is adding tools that will take customers more quickly to the items they are looking for, says director of Internet marketing Debbie Hess.
Norm Thompson Outfitters Inc. is taking the wraps off this year’s biggest e-commerce initiative: three newly redesigned web sites. The retooled sites, which include new looks and programs on NormThompson.com, SolutionsCatalog.com and Sahalie.com, were re-launched in a series of debuts in late August through early September, Debbie Hess, director of Internet marketing, tells InternetRetailer.com.
Norm Thompson, direct marketer of outdoor lifestyle clothing, footwear and related merchandise and No. 99 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, last redesigned its web sites four years ago.
But each site needed to be updated to achieve a fresher look and feel and build a better synergy with the Norm Thomson catalogs.
The new sites, which run on an e-commerce platform from MarketLive Inc., feature faster search, rich media applications and zoom tools that enable customers to see more product detail when they shop.
To create more merchandising opportunity, Norm Thompson is adding new gift, product and shoe finder tools that will take customers more quickly to the merchandise they are looking for, Hess says. “We improved access to service information to make our customers more comfortable buying online,” she says. “We brought more information further forward in the shopping process such as adding shopping bag information in the navigation and listing pricing sooner.”
Another enhancement is adding more concentrated content on each product page. For instance, each page that lists a specific item of merchandise now also has a summary of product details, a larger product image, customer reviews and a forward to a friend e-mail link. In addition each product page also has more content such as tips on the care and cleaning of clothing items and accessories.
“The biggest enhancement we made with the sites is adding new content,” Hess says. “On each page we can now tell a fuller story, which is something we couldn’t do in just our print catalogs.”
Norm Thompson, which carries more than 85,000 online SKUs, including travel gear, home décor and gourmet foods, redesigned its web sites to create more cross selling opportunities. For instance, one new feature enables customers to assemble and purchase an entire outfit, including accessories, on one product page. “We made it easier for customers to find our products,” Hess says.