June 13, 2010, 2:54 PM

An e-retailer boosts sales with video and a sweepstakes

Carol's Daughter uses videos to increase revenue on beauty products.

Offering videos on its web site has led to sales increases of between 15% and 80%, depending on the product, Darren Orlando, vice president, direct, for Carol's Daughter, said at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition last week in Chicago.

The skin care retailer offers product information and how-to videos for some items, and has about 20 new videos ready to go, Orlando said Thursday. Videos for face products tend to drive more sales than other videos.

He advised online retailers hoping to expand their business to offer videos. "They are almost mandatory," he said in a session entitled "Managing for growth—get ready for the next wave."

Retailers also should look to contests as a way to gain more customers, Orlando said. Carol's Daughter offers a chance to win a $250 shopping spree for shoppers who sign up for e-mail newsletters. The contest has boosted e-mail sign-up rates by five times, he said. Orlando noted that the blue sweepstakes bar located in the middle of a product page may not look great, but brings in shoppers.

He added that e-mail campaigns account for up to 40% of revenue for the retailer.

Carol's Daughter expects to sell about $8 million of products online this year, Orlando said.

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