For Bealls, a family-owned regional department store in Florida, enhancing users’ experiences online was critical to the growth and success of its business. With a brick-and-mortar presence only in Florida, and a loyal customer base of seasonal customers and travelers, the lifestyle apparel and home décor retailer needed to be able to sell to these consumers year-round, not just when they were visiting the Sunshine State on vacation. So Bealls invested in its e-commerce site. In particular, it targeted rich media applications as a way to engage consumers online.
Kim Siefke, e-commerce manager, web design and development at Bealls, spoke at last month's Retail Marketing Conference in Orlando, Fla. on how her company has used rich media to grow its online and cross-channel sales. Joining Siefke in presenting a session titled “How Rich Media Can Help Drive Cross-Channel Success” was Wayne Sadlowski, vice president of business development at Adobe Scene7, a provider of image server software.
In its quest to be a channel agnostic organization, Bealls created an environment where its easy for consumers to do business with the company, both online and in-store. The retailer developed campaigns to create synergy between the two channels, such as sending unique coupon codes to customers via email for in-store purchase, and vice versa. In fact, Siefke said that 75 percent of Bealls’ in-store customers come via email. The internet serves as the customer acquisition tool for Bealls, Siefke said.
To improve the user experience online, Bealls implemented several rich media applications to its product pages. These included the following:
- alternate views and color swatches, allowing consumers to look at products from several angles and in different colors;
- zoom, which increased conversion rates by 25 percent in a A/B test, Siefke said;
- overlay templates, which enable consumers to view expanded call-out shots of a product by simply rolling over them with their mouse without leaving the page; and
- e-catalogs, which have proven very effective for seasonal customers who visit Florida for vacation, Siefke said.
Bealls' future plans call for an enterprisewide asset management system, syncing up customer and product data to all channels, launching a new web platform, and cutting down on all the consumer touchpoints for merchandise.