The Mark Group-A 50-Year Legacy of Service (1,709 words)
As Miller explains, The Mark Group is aiming to "deliver a radically improved shopping experience to its target customers. The Web will allow us to provide the ultimate in service."
Adds Bryant, "Online, that's where we can customize the shopping experience. Our goal is to eventually create a custom catalog for each visitor to the site." Apparel and home decorating accessories are well suited for selling via the Internet channel due to the new techniques available for making the shopping experience more informative, efficient and enjoyable. For instance, Bryant says, "We can show more product and make it more visually active. An example is our Mouse-Over technology, which allow shoppers to see three or four views of a product."
Bryant notes that the Web can help provide better service and overcome traditional direct-to-consumer industry obstacles. He explains, "... Soon Boston Proper shoppers will be able to use the power of the computer to assure that their purchase will be the correct size. Work has begun so when customers enter their measurements and other fit preferences, the site will dynamically provide customers with garments specially selected for them ..."
A Service Revolution
The Mark Group believes the key to making the Internet channel of distribution successful for its target market segments is not merely to put up Web sites, but to revolutionize the customer's overall shopping experience and provide better service both on the front end as customers shop and on the back end after they've decided to purchase.
Among the ways the company is doing this: dynamic population of Web pages. "This means an item disappears automatically when it goes out of stock," says Bryant. "This is possible due to a real-time link to the fulfillment system."
Another feature the company has introduced is what it terms lifestyle navigation techniques. Says Bryant, "We have eight different shopping methods on the site for customers' convenience," among them: Shop by Designer, which allows shoppers to view pieces and outfits by their favorite makers; and Catalog Shortcut, for people who've already decided in the print catalog what they want to purchase.