Web Design

Always Room for Improvement
May 1, 2006

Problem: Office Depot’s Web site search tool, while strong, was one of the weaker links in its user experience. Solution: Wholesale change of the search tool. Result: Improved conversion, average order value and customer return rates. Most online retailers would have been thrilled with a Web site search tool as effective as Office Depot’s, converting sometimes at rates higher than 80 percent for certain keywords. According to Noah Maffitt, Office Depot’s director of e-commerce, the multichannel company even wondered how much it could actually “move the needle” with a redo of its site search functionality. But there’s always room for improvement, and after identifying a few

Multicultural Special Report: Q&A with Kang & Lee’s Saul Gitlin
April 4, 2006

If you’re actively targeting Asian-Americans, you need to be able to attract and service them online. This market indexes higher than the general population in weekly Internet usage. To get a better perspective on how best to communicate with Asian-Americans via the Web, Target Marketing spoke with Saul Gitlin, executive vice president of strategic services and new business at Kang & Lee Advertising, a multicultural marketing consulting and communications agency that specializes in reaching Asian-American markets. Target Marketing: How actively do Asian-Americans use the Internet? Saul Gitlin: There have been many studies that have looked at Asian-American use of technology and the Internet. All these

Network to Drive Revenue
February 1, 2006

There are millions of people out there who not only love to shop, but love to talk about the things they buy. They’re talking online through social networks and online product reviews, providing marketers with a huge opportunity to drive sales. At first, a consumer’s desire to spread his or her opinions across the electronic universe seems very narcissistic. After all, who cares what BillyBob1634 in Sheboygan thinks about the latest iPod? Actually, millions of his online shopping peers do. They care a lot. They care more about his opinion than they care about yours. They’ve become numb to TV commercials, ads and e-mails, and they’re

First (Page) Impressions Matter Most
January 16, 2006

"Branding begins before the first page of your [Web] site loads," says Allan Gorman, market leadership advisor and author of "Building Better Brands." In his book, he recommends marketers ask themselves the following questions: 1. "Does a visitor have to wait too long for your flash animations to load? 2. "Are the clips useful for telling your story, or just gratuitous pieces of art that say: 'See how cool I am?' 3. "Is the first page designed to load efficiently for all connection speeds?" "Building Better Brands" is available in bookstores and through online booksellers. For more, visit: www.brandspa.net.  

Room to Grow
December 1, 2005

Highlights for Children was a 43-year-old magazine with a strong brand before marketing any other offerings to its core customers: parents of young children. In 1946, Dr. Garry Cleveland Myers and his wife Caroline Clark Myers founded Highlights for Children Inc. The privately-held company flourished with a single product—Highlights for Children® magazine—throughout four full decades before deciding it was time to grow its brand and its business. Today, Highlights for Children Inc. houses under its corporate umbrella several kids’ book club programs, a toy and game catalog, and an interactive Web site. “We are now much more than a single magazine for children.

Making E-correspondence and Websites Readable
July 12, 2005

Serif or Sans Serif Font--Which to Use? Could I please make a suggestion? Your newsletter uses the "Times" font for body text, and in an email on a computer screen it is very hard to read. Could I get you to consider using a font that was designed for screen readability and is generally considered the most readable font for screen, Verdana? If not Verdana, at least a sans-serif font? If you do, I know I for one will be much more apt to read your newsletter. Thanks in advance. --Mike Schinkel President; Xtras, Inc. June 23, 2005 I try to answer every

Behind Time Interactive’s Curtain
December 1, 2004

This publisher is selling magazine subscriptions through an Internet model that seems to be working—even though it’s not a ‘free for all’ With rare exception, magazines and newspapers have struggled with the concept of charging for their online content ever since publishers started doing business on the Internet more than a decade ago. An underlying problem existed in that it had been taken for granted by most consumers that the heart and soul of the “information superhighway” was the idea that Web content should be free and available to all. Thus, the whole idea of charging for editorial content online has been a difficult

E-commerce Link: Show and Sell
August 1, 2004

Add flexibility to your online sales presentation with on-th-fly image generation Images sell. A Web site that actively uses its image assets as a merchandising tool has a distinct advantage in generating sales. Fortunately for online marketers, new dynamic imaging technologies let you use your images far more flexibly than ever before, vastly increasing the effectiveness of your online merchandising. These technologies allow you to create any number of high-quality images, place them anywhere on your site, and capitalize on your Web site data to customize them for any merchandising need. You can even personalize them according to your customer data. This is

E-commerce Link: Enhance Your On-site Search
May 1, 2004

For a more efficient approach to Internet sales, consider advanced search technology Imagine you run an online store selling home furnishings. A customer comes looking for a couch and is disgusted to find that a search for “sofa” dead-ends with “no results found.” With a few clicks, he zooms over to your competition and does his shopping there. The problem, of course, is that he accidentally typed “soda” in the search query. Not your fault, but definitely your problem. Enhanced on-site search technology can nullify this kind of random yet disastrous error, making your on-site search feature work the way your customers expect it

Convert Browsers into Buyers
November 1, 2002

The key to successful sales conversion is making a relevant presentation to the shopper. This is just as true on the Web as it is in any other sales environment.

Here are seven proven techniques you can use to make the shopping experience more relevant to your customers' needs, make the buying process easier, and remove roadblocks along the path to purchase. Whether your shoppers are newcomers or long-time customers, these techniques will help you convert more of their shopping sessions into actual sales.