July 10, 2008, 12:00 AM

Sally Beauty Supply prepares for first big e-commerce holiday season

The upcoming holiday shopping season will be a special one for cosmetics retail chain Sally Beauty Supply—the retailer`s first with a full-blown e-commerce site. It plans to increase online offerings from 400 to 5,000 beauty products.

The upcoming holiday shopping season will be a special one for cosmetics retail chain Sally Beauty Supply-its first with a full-blown e-commerce site.

Sally Beauty-which previously hosted an information-only web site with beauty solutions and professional beauty advice-launched as an e-commerce site in October 2007 in a move to attract younger customers, says Richard BenBassett, senior director of e-commerce for Sally Beauty Supply. However, the site initially carried only 52 of the more than 6,000 products sold through Sally Beauty Supply’s more than 2,200 stores. “We really didn’t participate in the online channel last holiday season,” he says.

The goal for this holiday season is to offer more than 5,000 products online, including some exclusive items that won’t be sold in stores, BenBassett says. Currently, the site features only 400 products. “Our big focus right now is to get our entire assortment on line prior to the holiday season,” he says.

That entails building product detail pages, changes in site navigation and design to make the site more user-friendly, BenBassett says. The site also launched product ratings and reviews this spring using Bazaarvoice technology. “The entire look and feel of the site will change,” he says.

Sally Beauty launched the e-commerce site using Demandware software-as-a-service e-commerce platform. “It’s been a very seamless transition to go from an information site to an e-commerce site due to the fact we were able to partner with Demandware,” BenBassett says. “The usability and features Demandware had simplified the process of us expanding our SKUs online.”

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