With progress made in the offline world, Wolferman's turned its attention to the Internet. It began using search engines to drive more traffic to its online catalog Web site last August. It already had launched a redesigned Web site in November 2002, and that now stood ready to handle any increased traffic that search engines might generate. eOne Group, an IBM partner based in Omaha, Neb., handled the Web design. So last summer, Wolferman's purchased a variety of keywords on three search engine sites: Google, Overture and Find What. Wolferman's chose keywords such as english muffins, scones, christmas food gifts, crumpets and holiday gift baskets to connect with online shoppers looking for these kinds of products.
On the Internet, Wolferman's is getting a conversion rate of visitors to buyers of about 10 percent, compared to an industry average of 2 percent to 3 percent, Brady says. This performance is encouraging the cataloger to continue with the program, even though the overall Web sales numbers remain small.
"The Internet is a slightly less easy read when it comes to the success of the medium, mainly due to the fact that the customers' average order value is typically lower online," Trollinger comments. "Online buyers seem like they have a need for something—they're looking to buy, and need to get in and get out."
But due to the low cost of Internet advertising, and the positive response paid search engine marketing activities have yielded in bringing new visitors and new buyers to the Wolferman's catalog Web site, it still looks like a worthwhile opportunity, and one that the company will continue to pursue.
Creative Catalog Changes
From 2003 to 2004, Wolferman's decided that it was time for a little creative refresher for the catalog to bring it up to date with all the other changes taking place in the company. "We really took a step back and said it's time for a creative re-mix for the catalog. It needed a fresh look," says Brady. "We didn't have anyone else telling us this. But when we looked at the data [on] what was selling, it was the products on the themed pages and spreads, and not products just slapped haphazardly on the page."