November 29, 2006, 12:00 AM


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“The site looks like one that shoppers would find only in Asia,” says Maris Daugherty, a senior consultant at J.C. Williams Group. “The color and design of the site look more like a commerce site found in Asia even though the site serves shoppers in several different countries. It is clearly focused on the needs of the Asian community.”

Equally impressive are the ease of site navigation and the depth of content. By clicking on an item shoppers can access a product description, lists of top sellers in the category, customer ratings, package deals, and other items bought by customers that purchased the item being viewed.

“ builds on a customer interface standard that has been successfully used by by providing super-rich content around the product catalog,” says Chad Doiron, a senior strategist for Kurt Salmon Associates. “That’s important, because as consumers become savvier in navigating web sites they expect richer content to be available.” recently has been focused on expanding its catalog to become a true mass merchandiser-it launched in June to market apparel, shoes, bags, fine jewelry, accessories and other items to women ages 18 to 35. And the retailer has proven to be a shrewd promotional strategist-any order totaling $25 or more, for example, is shipped free. “That’s a big selling point considering that when ordering CDs or DVDs, the bulk of the cost can be shipping,” says Doiron. “Free shipping takes away a big impediment to placing an order.”

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