IBM client web sales rose 12.1% last weekend, while ChannelAdvisor reports 13.9% growth in sales last week for merchants on Amazon.
With a new on-demand merchandising tool, the footwear company has halved the time it spends managing online content.
Reebok had a problem with the way it managed content on its e-commerce site. Adding any new marketing messages or merchandise took too long and required special training with the company’s third-party content management system. After switching to Allurent Inc.’s on-demand Visual Merchandiser tool, Reebok was able to more quickly make changes to its site, reducing the time spent managing web content by 50%.
The Visual Merchandiser, available as part of the Allurent on Demand software-as-a-service suite, enables Reebok to resize photos, upload images, access the product catalog, and preview changes from one screen, says Erin McKay, e-commerce marketing manager at Reebok. “Now we are able to make changes on the fly,” McKay says.
Because Allurent delivers the visual merchandising tool as a software-as-a-service, it enables Reebok to quickly update its Allurent shopping widgets, which are software applications that support interactive merchandising displays that retailers can place in multiple locations on web sites and social media pages. A shopper could click into a Reebok widget, for example, to get the latest promotional offers and available styles in running shoes.
McKay says that being able to upload content in a central Internet-based hub has freed up I.T., marketing and merchandising resources and has helped Reebok double the creative content on its site.
Allurent offers more than 22 widgets and retailers can add as many widgets as they want for a subscription. Fees are based on a site's average number of monthly visits and typically range from $3,000 to $10,000 per month, Allurent says.
Allurent has about 25 e-retailer customers, and its merchandising widgets are also used by such retailers as denim manufacturer 7 For All Mankind and women’s fashion apparel retailer Charlotte Russe. Adding widgets gets easier after the first implementation, clients say, because the initial integration between Allurent and a retailer's product catalog, add-to-cart service and analytics system is re-used with each additional widget.
The initial set-up takes about three weeks on average, Allurent says, and a widget can be tweaked with new merchandising and branding and relaunched in a few days. For example, 7 For All Mankind repurposed one of its widgets as a holiday gift finder, and now is adding a shop-by-outfit widget.
Brian Walker, an e-commerce technology analyst with Forrester Research Inc., says deploying widgets through on-demand technology providers offers an attractive alternative to building widgets through outside interactive site development agencies. "Platform providers have been working to make this easier, as are firms like Allurent," Walker says.