Posts Tagged ‘online’

Milo Fetch bridges gap between online and in-store

June 23, 2011

Dealers looking to branch out online may want to check out Milo Fetch, an eBay-affiliated company that helps small- and medium-sized brick and mortar businesses gain more visibility online. A bonus: You don’t have to have an online storefront to sign up.

Milo Fetch works like this: Retailers enter their store information and sign up, then install Milo Fetch on their main point-of-sale system computer. Milo Fetch automatically uploads the retailer’s inventory, adding it to search engines like those on eBay, Milo, RedLaser and other eBay-affiliated sites. Shoppers who search for items on these sites will be able to view not only national eBay-listed products, but items from local retailers, as well.

The online listings can act as referrals to the retailer’s store. Milo Fetch also updates the product availability in real-time, so customers can see whether a store has an item in stock at that particular moment.

We tried it out, and it seems to work pretty well — and we noticed that powersports products are few and far between. A quick search for motorcycle products near Dealernews’ zip code (92614) yielded only eight local results. Of course, Milo Fetch only has recently rolled out, so given time, more retailers will sign up and more products will be searchable. However, from a dealer standpoint, you could take advantage of this testing period to get a leg up on your competitors.

Currently, Milo Fetch works best with retailers who use Intuit QuickBooks. The service is free during this beta testing period, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

Visit http://milofetch.com to sign up and to learn more.

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TIP: Where to place your in-store pickup counter

June 17, 2011

While conducting her seminar at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition this week, RSR Research partner Nikki Baird made an interesting point about the dilemma of the in-store pickup counter. These counters, as you know, are for customers who purchase products from you online or over the phone.

So where exactly should these counters be situated in your store?

“Ideally, as a business you’d say, I want my pickup location to be at the back corner of the store because I want customers to walk through the entire store to get there,” Baird said. “That’s what Walmart has done. Unfortunately, from the customer perspective, the biggest draw [of online shopping] is convenience.”

So, in other words, if you force a customer walk through a maze of aisles and salespeople to retrieve their conveniently purchased items, they’re not going to appreciate it. Customers who shop online love the ability to effortlessly browse and buy merchandise, so making them wind their way through an entire store can defeat the purpose of online shopping in the first place.

On the other extreme end, placing the pickup counter at the very front of your store doesn’t serve you, either. Baird mentioned another retailer, The Container Store, as a business that places its pickup counter directly in front. “There’s not even impulse items there for customers to look at,” Baird said.

So depending on your store design, placement of your in-store pickup counter would fall somewhere in the middle of both extremes. You need to have this counter in an area where there’s a little bit of eye candy to catch a customer’s eye, but not so much that he may as well have bought the item in the store, instead of online.

Honda Begins New Online Marketing Effort

January 19, 2009

Honda has launched a new marketing campaign that uses an interactive strategy and short “documentary” films contained within a multi-layered Web site.

The Web site destination, dreams.honda.com, showcases Honda’s “Dream the Impossible Documentary Series.”  Three short films (about 6- 8 minutes in length) debuted with the campaign launch Jan. 12; additional films will be added every few months. Two of the films discuss core values that have inspired generations of Honda associates by telling the stories of impossible engineering challenges and exploring where failure brought Honda and what success came of it. The third film explores the future of mobility.

The company plans to use online media to generate awareness for the campaign, drive traffic to the new site and help create consumer buzz. Spots (:30 and :15 spots using footage from the films) will run during television shows broadcast online on ABC.com, CBS.com, NBC.com and Hulu.com. Unique page takeovers, roadblocks and pre-roll placements will launch late January through early February on Wired, Gawker Network, Discovery Channel, Time, Yahoo! and CNN.

Learn more here.