STORES Magazine - February 2009 - (Page 46)

NUTS AND BOLTS / ONLINE MARKETING Clicks that Count sold on solution that boosts its profile on comparison shopping sites BY CRAIG GUILLOT W ith financial belts tightening throughout the industry, retailers are seeking ways to optimize ad expenditures that reached a record $11.5 billion in the first six months of 2008, according to a survey by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. is the second-largest online jewelry retailer, with estimated 2008 revenues of $230 million. From earrings and necklaces to watches and sunglasses, the website operates in an auction format where customers bid on their favorite products. Seeing there was a segment of the market that preferred direct purchase to auctions, the company launched last year with an inventory of more than 20,000 jewelry items. “We wanted to take our product lines out to customers in a more retail environment and to a more mainstream consumer,” says Leon Kuperman, chief technology officer and vice president of business development for Online marketing channels are critical in providing traffic and sales leads, and Kuperman estimates that up to 40 percent of’s sales come from those channels. A customer who searches online for Azimuth jewelry often is led to a shopping site where she can learn “We’re helping connect retailers with high-intent online shoppers in more places across the Internet and, more important, we’re helping retailers generate more return on their advertising investments.” — Eric Best, Mercent more about the individual products and compare retailers and prices. Known as comparison shopping sites, they include customer reviews and rate everything from video games to furniture and baby apparel. Some of the more popular marketing channels include Nextag, Google Product, Shopzilla, Price Grabber and Yahoo! Shopping. Traffic from comparison shopping engines is important to retailers because most visitors who arrive via them tend to be further along in the buying process and therefore represent a more solid lead. When a consumer clicks on an offer from a retailer at a comparison shopping site or online marketing channel, that retailer is charged a payper-click price that can run anywhere between a few cents and a few dollars. To help it reach customers through these online marketing channels, enlisted the help of Mercent, an online marketing firm that helps retailers optimize performance across online channels. Through consulting and use of its webbased solutions, Mercent clients are able to push their ads and products out to the major online marketers more easily. From creating the individual ads to 46 STORES / FEBRUARY 2009 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - February 2009

STORES Magazine - February 2009
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Are You a Pusher or a Puller?
What Shoppers Think
Online Retail Satisfaction
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Cover Story - Something’s Got to Give
First Look
Online Partners
Inventory Systems
Drug Store Systems
Business Intelligence
Inventory Managment
Online Marketing
Supply Chain - Better Data, Better Decisions
Returns Management - Identifying Fraud
Data Security - Securing Intimate Data
Anti-Shoplifting - Mall of Shame?
Risk Management - Securing Consumer Confidence
Loeb Retail letter
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - February 2009