Case Study: Signature Styles Boosts its Online Revenues Via Sales on Amazon
SOLUTION: Partnered with a provider of online channel marketing technology and services for retailers.
RESULTS: Signature Styles increased its sales on Amazon in the third and fourth quarters of last year, in addition to saving time and money in IT work by partnering with a third-party provider to build its Amazon data feed.
Upon learning of the changes that Amazon was making to its product categorization mapping last summer, Signature Styles was faced with a dilemma: Make the necessary adjustments to its Amazon data feed in-house, or contract the work out to a third-party provider. After doing its research and determining that completing the job internally would require up to 300 or more hours of IT work (not to mention the lost revenue during that transition period), plus the fact that there was a highly recommended vendor out there already doing this work seamlessly for other retailers, it became an easy choice.
New York City-based Signature Styles hired Mercent, a provider of online channel marketing technology and services, in July 2010 to rework its Amazon data feed. The data feed includes all merchandise from the Spiegel and Newport News brands, with the exception of clearance items.
"We were mapping on a category-to-category level before, and we were going to have to change that to map on an item-level basis — map every single item to the relevant Amazon category," says Parker Block, vice president of e-commerce and marketing for Signature Styles. "That was something that was going to require a lot of work on our end, and Mercent did it pretty seamlessly."
Right Place, Right Time
With the tremendous volume of merchandise available on Amazon.com, it's critical for Signature Styles' products to be displayed in the correct categories and subcategories so consumers can easily find them. Since Signature Styles' previous data feed operated on a category level (e.g., women's shoes), its products would be displayed amongst thousands of other items in that category under Amazon's new product mapping rules. It's un- likely a shopper would easily find Signature Styles' products. But with its data feed now operating on an item-level basis (e.g., women's flats), Signature Styles has a better shot at being in the right place at the right time when consumers are searching Amazon for a particular product.