Monday, August 13, 2007

Sears E-Me Program Adds A Virtual
Twist To Back-to-School Shopping

Blending the often painful experience of shopping for school clothes with your parents with web 2.0 technology, Sears recently has taken Back-To-School shopping into the virtual word with the creation of their E-Me shopping experience targeted towards tweens.

The program, which is a partnership with and, allows tweens to create a unique E-Me, or avatar. Once constructed, the E-Me can be dressed in Sears apparel, such as The Cheetah Girls exclusive line, camo skorts, jeans, and hoodies, in addition to shoes. A personalized closet then allows the site visitor to save all of their creations from session to session without any exchange of information.

By simply printing the E-Me along with the closet and bringing it to a Sears store, parents will be able to easily find the clothing that their children want along with receiving a 10 percent discount on those given items at check-out.

In addition to making shopping easier, the site provides a virtual world through an E-Me Fashion Show, a rating capability, and multiple animated actions, such as eating pizza and surfing.

According to Paul Miller, Senior Vice President of Direct Commerce of Sears Holdings, “the Sears E-Me is all about making back-to-school shopping easier for mom and a lot more fun for kids.”

Monday, August 6, 2007

New Study Shows Pre-Shopping
Powers Brick & Mortar Spending

The combination of search engine marketing teamed with display ads is proving to be influential to the way consumers shop, according to a study from Yahoo and comScore entitled “From Clicks to Bricks: The Impact of Online Pre-Shopping on Consumer Shopping Behavior.”

The study was based on eight months of data from 175,000 comScore participants and five major retailers, which included JC Penney. One of its key findings was that campaigns which use both display ads and search marketing convert more online shoppers into buyers than those which use only one of those methods.

In addition, the study established that consumers exposed to online advertising tend to research or “pre-shop” online prior to purchase. These “pre-shoppers” spend an average of 41 percent more in-store when compared to consumers not exposed to online advertising, according to the report.

The integration of search and display campaigns has resulted in a deeper engagement for consumers exposed to those ads, leading to increased sales. Consumers who had seen a combination of search/display ads spent an average of 83% more than those who had not seen either type of ad, according to the report.

The study also found that consumers who had seen only search ads spent 26% more than those who had not seen any ads. This exposure to display ads lifted in-store sales an average of 11% over spending by buyers who had not seen ads.

In addition, among the consumers in the study group exposed to both search and display ads, 43% made in-store purchases, compared to 26% who only viewed search ads, and only 6% who had only seen display ads.

Other significant results from the study include that almost 90% of the incremental sales generated by online advertising take place in-store and consumers exposed to online advertising tend to spend an incremental six dollars in-store for every one dollar spent online.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Customization Trend Taking
Hold With Online Shoppers

By Jessica Humphrey, Assistant Editor

The trend towards offering personalized merchandise on e-commerce sites was given the star treatment in USA Today ( on Tuesday, July 31st. The article covered the move among such high fashion brands as Steve Madden are joining athletic footwear brands in allowing consumers to design their own shoes or handbags.

In addition to covering the customization offerings at specific e-commerce sites, the USA Today piece also spotlighted, which will take a shopper’s measurements and steer them to a specific retailers selling jeans and bras with the best assortment for their dimensions.

The article also cited data from NPD Group, which found consumers will complete a purchase 72% of the time if they are involved in the design or fitting of a product, compared with the 23% average conversion rate for the rest of the fashion industry.

The e-commerce sites featured for the personalized offerings, included: