October 13, 2009, 12:00 AM

New social features prove a good fit for SuperShoes.com

Videos and other new social features are driving more business at SuperShoes.com, an online shoe store operated by Vision Retailing Inc. Since the launch, the conversion rate and page views on product pages have increased 37% and 56%, respectively.

Getting positively social is delivering a serious payoff for SuperShoes.com, an online shoe store opened by Vision Retailing Inc. in January 2008.

The retailer turned to social marketing because the new site initially struggled to attract consumers. “On some days we weren’t getting anywhere enough views on a product page,” says Vision Retailing vice president and general manager Frank Malsbenden.

To fix the site’s suffering business performance and drive traffic, Vision Retailing, an Andover, MA-based web retailer which also operates Shoeline.com and AddingtonFalls.com, added several social marketing features, including more than 400 product videos that visitors can watch and rate.

The videos, which Vision Retailing promotes heavily in its marketing messages to its followers on Twitter, also come with “Love it” and “Hate it” buttons on the same product page that allow customers to rank which shoes they like and dislike. Other social features include a “Tag it” option, which allows customers to enter a term they would like to associate with a particular product, and a “Share” button that enables customers to send a product page link to friends and family accompanied by their own messages.

“By going more social and adding videos we’ve made it easier to see how a shoe fits and for customers to say if they hate or love a particular product,” says Malsbenden.

Vision Retailing isn’t disclosing sales figures tied to its new social marketing features. But since the new features went live, the average order has been about $68 and the conversion rate and page views on product pages have increased 37% and 56%, respectively, the retailer says.

In the near future, SuperShoes.com and Vision Retailing’s other e-commerce sites will be updated with new interactive features such as a ticker tape that will run a continual update of the “love” and “hate” counts for individual products and brands. “We knew this audience would be familiar with this type of functionality, but also saw it as an opportunity to connect with the newest breed of online shoppers who expect increased levels of interaction, connectedness and personalization online.” says Malsbenden.

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