Stevens Design Studio Attends 2004 Fall NEMOA Conference

We recently attended the 2004 Fall Conference for NEMOA (New England Mail Order Association) and wanted to share some news.

Facts and Figures from the DMA
Data presented by H. Robert Wientzen, former President and CEO of the Direct Marketing Association
  • Average direct mail response rate is 2.4%
  • Average response rate from in-house lists is 3.8%
  • Average response rate from prospect lists is 1.5%
  • $41 billion was generated in web sales in 2003.
  • 55% of customers placed orders by telephone.
  • 22% of customers placed orders online.
  • 33% of catalog sales are coming through the internet.
  • 30% of incremental sales (new customers) are coming by the internet.

Most effective online promotions:
  1. Sweepstakes
  2. Free Shipping
  3. Discounts

Mail volume is currently dropping.
The next postal increase is expected in spring 2006.
The increase is predicted to be significant.

Improving Online Sales
excerpted from a presentation by Ken Burke, owner of MultiMedia Live
Mr. Burke's message revolved around the concept of merchandising online and using the best retailers as examples for presenting merchandise on your website. It is time to move forward from simply placing items online and making them available for purchase, to merchandising and actively selling products. We should emulate the retail experience where we see products grouped in interesting and practical product presentations.

Merchandise Online
  • create product spreads online, using the concepts of "telling a story"
  • every website page should have a merchandising strategy
  • look at the best practices in retail and incorporate the concepts
  • use merchandising to differentiate your products

Create Online Themes
  • show related and relevant products
  • establish the product relationships
  • allow users to shop by style, collection, activity, etc.

Focus the User's Attention
  • internet user's have a very short attention span, you need to grab their attention
  • create dominant themes and repeat them throughout the website
  • limit the number of messages on any given page

Update Product Regularly
  • determine appropriate frequency of your selling themes
  • reinforce the theme throughout the site
  • make campaigns continuous (one comes down and another goes up)
  • use the retail experience as an example

Dedicate Resources
  • focus energy and expertise on your website to make it work for you
  • develop website specific copy and add pertinent product information
  • photograph product just for your website when possible
  • strengthen your website categories and their relationships to each other

Convert and Retain Online Customers
  • use suggestive selling techniques
  • motivate the click
  • tell the user what they are suppose to do

Improve Your Website's Search Function
  • more than 50% of website visitors use keyword search to locate product
  • failed website searches run between 20-40%
  • present logical next steps to your website searcher if no results are found

Automate E-mail Responses
  • send automatic e-mails based upon customer interaction (making a purchase, requesting a catalog, response to an e-mail, etc.)

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