January 14, 2009, 12:00 AM

ShoeMall.com keeps shoppers on their toes by adding personalization

To keep web sales tracking forward, ShoeMall.com is adding features and functions to make it easy for serious online footwear shoppers to make a purchase.

To keep web sales tracking in the right direction, ShoeMall.com is adding more features and functions that will make it easy for serious online footwear shoppers to make a purchase.

In October, ShoeMall, a business unit of Mason Companies Inc., one of the oldest and biggest direct marketers of shoes and No. 138 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, added a customer reviews application from PowerReviews. So far shoppers have posted about 800 reviews and customer reviews were a big factor in helping ShoeMall.com grow its 2008 web sales by about 9%, says Internet manager Jodi Bresina.

“We spent a lot of time putting the customer reviews in place before the holidays to avoid any confusion,” Bresina says.”There was some trepidation about publishing too many negative reviews, but over 90% of the ones we receive are positive.”

In time for the holidays, ShoeMall also added a targeted gift center, which helped grow e-commerce sales in the fourth quarter by an undisclosed amount. In 2009, ShoeMall plans to add more forms of alternative payments, including PayPal, Google Checkout and a promotional financing offer for no payments for 90 days on purchases of more than $125. The financing offer will be available to shoppers in January, while PayPal and Google Checkout will roll out sometime in the second quarter.

To appeal to a more diverse customer range, ShoeMall has added new lines of merchandise to its product mix such as socks and handbags. “Accessories were a great addition,” Bresina says. “From July through December the sale of accessories rose by 175%.”

ShoeMall.com also will conduct more targeted marketing in the months ahead, especially focused e-mail campaigns. “We will be reaching out to our best buyers and doing a lot more segmenting,” Bresina says.

Bresina is speaking at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 15-18 in Boston, in a session titled Holding your search marketing vendor accountable.

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