Doran Robinson previously worked for healthcare information technology vendor athenahealth.
Original recipes for e-retail success
This year's Hot 100 food and drug retailers range from the small to mid-sized in terms of online sales, but shoppers may never notice, as these e-commerce sites rival those of some of the biggest and the best web retailers. And while their strategies may range from aiming to whet shoppers' appetites with giant imagery of cookies oozing with chocolate to luring them in with rich content and fast shipping offers, they all have one thing in common: they are forward-looking, innovative thinkers and their e-commerce sites prove it.
Baking ingredient and cooking tool retailer King Arthur Flour Co. Inc. (King Arthur's mobile site: http://www.internetretailer.com/2011/11/07/king-arthur-flour-builds-single-e-commerce-site-devices), for example, had the foresight to recognize that mobile shoppers would be a large portion of its traffic and therefore designed its site with mobile devices in mind. The retailer's simple and easy to use navigation, plus its flexible-width display make it appealing for the mobile consumers that account for 14% of site traffic.
Natural food products retailer AbesMarket.com (Abe's raises $34 million: http://www.internetretailer.com/2011/02/11/online-marketplace-abes-market-raises-34-million), meanwhile, posts weekly live feeds from industry experts that recommend products and perform how-to demonstrations. Shoppers can join the conversion with a chat box, and the site has more than 250 videos on its pages.
For the Famous 4th Street Cookie Company, the key to a great e-commerce site is to highlight its cookies in a way that appeals to shoppers' taste buds. So FamousCookies.com is swathed with large images and brief, concise comments. Its home page, for instance, features scrolling photos of each cookie variety, much larger than life-sized, with pithy descriptions like "Yummy." that hovers over the chocolate chip cookie or "Divine." for its peanut butter variety.
E-Retailers Awarded the Hot 100 of Food / Drug:
ABESMARKET.COM, CELLARTHIEF.COM, EDIBLEARRANGEMENTS.COM, FAMOUSCOOKIES.COM, KINGARTHURFLOUR.COM, MYEXTRAGUM.COM, OLDTIMECANDY.COM, REPUBLICOFTEA.COM, STARBUCKSSTORE.COM
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