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Puppies in the Window

BY CSA STAFF

A retailer’s Web site, and specifically its homepage, can serve as a powerful virtual store window. Sure, it can feature product pushes and helpful search tools, but retailers too often focus on selling items rather than on maximizing the experience. Companies would do well to study sites that become instant Web sensations and draw millions of returning visitors, and apply similar strategies to their own virtual storefronts.

Take this example: After President-elect Barack Obama announced on election night that his family would be bringing a new puppy into the White House, the news ignited a sense of puppy fever nationwide. Soon after, the Obamas started to receive puppy-adoption offers from various sources and were continually asked when the new pet would officially join the family. (The answer: Not until late winter/early spring, once they get settled after the inauguration.)

With puppies top-of-mind, a new viral site began making its way around the Internet. A San Francisco couple looking to keep a watchful eye on their dog’s new litter set up a live puppy cam on popular site UStream.TV , featuring six adorable Shiba Inus.

The feed initially attracted more than 1,000 viewers who logged on to watch the pups play, eat and even sleep. The site caught on like wildfire, attracting several million views in total (and an average of 20,000 people watching online at a time). It’s safe to say that America formed an attachment to the litter, learning their names, habits and personalities, and continually came back to the site to check in on them.

It’s amazing how a concept so simple ignited such a national phenomenon. The puppies weren’t for sale at the time (nor were the toys they played with), but I immediately wondered if a business concept could be tied to this: Would a bidding war ensue for ownership of the puppies? Could sales skyrocket for squeaky toys, if they were available for purchase?

Using online video to implement an idea like the puppy cam could truly differentiate a retailer looking to stand out in a crowded marketplace. All retailers may not have puppies for sale, but there are endless opportunities for those looking to attract consumers back to their sites.

For example, if a retailer sells cookware, it should consider filming a series of live episodes of a chef cooking with and testing the products. Why not take it even further by setting up chat rooms and message boards to encourage community interaction?

Similar to the live Times Square camera that allows Web users to watch the busy street scene from all over the globe, retailers such as Macy’s, for example, could set up a similar video feature on its site that monitors its Herald Square location during the holidays. Online shoppers could easily pick up on the excitement of the highly trafficked store and note how the company’s goods are in demand. (And they could also be thankful to shop online without having to wait in those lines.)

There is so much potential here for retailers. If a simple puppy-cam site can lure millions of viewers in a matter of weeks (perhaps at the price of just a video camera), imagine how your company could spark a Web phenomenon to attract the masses.

So what’s in your virtual storefront window, and are you making the most of it?

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B.Fowler says:
Jan-21-2013 01:23 am

Yes I agree on that. We at
Yes I agree on that. We at Wood blinds orange county try to have this technique in order for us to gain more and more visitors, we did it actually and we have lots of clients now who call for us for our service. Last year we have at least two hundred clients a day and now we have approximately seven hundred customers to ask for our assistance.

B.Fowler says:
Jan-21-2013 01:23 am

Yes I agree on that. We at Wood blinds orange county try to have this technique in order for us to gain more and more visitors, we did it actually and we have lots of clients now who call for us for our service. Last year we have at least two hundred clients a day and now we have approximately seven hundred customers to ask for our assistance.

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‘Biggest Loser’ trainer helps introduce new NordicTrack

BY CSA STAFF

LOGAN, Utah Jillian Michaels, a trainer from the NBC show “The Biggest Loser,” has teamed up with NordicTrack to introduce the NordicTrack Incline Trainer.

“People don’t realize how many more calories they can burn by adding dramatic incline to a simple treadmill walk,” said Jillian Michaels, who is known for getting significant weight loss results for her teams on “The Biggest Loser.” “NordicTrack has made it convenient for everyone to do incline training in their home and transform a walk into a workout.”

The NordicTrack Incline Trainer has an introductory price of $1,599 and is available at www.nordictrack.com and Sears. The Incline Trainer is designed and manufactured in Logan, Utah at the NordicTrack headquarters and plant.

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Giant Food launches free antibiotic prescription program

BY CSA STAFF

LANDOVER, Md. Giant Food announced that it is launching a free prescription program covering 36 generic antibiotics in nine basic categories. The program will run from Jan. 2 to March 21, 2009, at all Giant pharmacies.

“Giant pharmacies are committed to improving the health and wellness in our communities during the winter season when families are susceptible to coughs, colds, and bacteria-borne illnesses,” explained Andrea Astrachan, consumer advisor for Giant Food. “As the provider of fresh, wholesome foods that help our customers stay healthy, we feel it is equally important to offer these free antibiotics to fight illness,” she said.

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