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Vermont Teddy Bear

Essay by   •  March 5, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,036 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,631 Views

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Situation

As the pioneer of the Bear-Gram® gift delivery service and the leading manufacturer of hand-crafted American-made teddy bears, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Inc. is dedicated to helping people connect in a fun, personal, and meaningful way. And as a BizRate.com Circle of Excellence Platinum Award-Winner, Vermont Teddy Bear has been consistently recognized by online shoppers as one of the "best of the best" online stores. Never content to rest on its laurels, the company is always seeking ways to improve its merchandising and reach new audiences.

The Challenge

For Vermont Teddy Bear, which realized more than 60 percent of its $66 million in revenue online in 2004, ecommerce is not just a marketing channel--it is a significant and growing revenue generator. The company wanted to increase revenues by cross-selling and up-selling teddy bear accessories and by enhancing the overall online customer shopping experience. It also wanted to improve customer satisfaction by ensuring that gifts were delivered on the requested date and to the correct address. In addition, the company realized it needed to offer and support multi-language sites to successfully reach the Hispanic market in the US.

Goals

Vermont Teddy Bear's Web site needed to meet four key requirements to support its brands and the company's objectives:

Raise average order value through improved merchandising

Support multiple sites, including multi-lingual sites aimed at a growing Hispanic audience

Improve the customer experience through increased functionality

Scale to support traffic surges during peak holidays

Why Demandware

Putting Vermont Teddy Bear in Control

While Vermont Teddy Bear had kept up with ecommerce advances, limited control over, and flexibility around, merchandising was translating into revenue limitations. With Demandware, the company can customize the customer experience using an extensive library of best practice ecommerce processes and functionality. Through this increased merchandising control, Vermont Teddy Bear can now easily make new products available, change prices, add promotions, and adjust the overall presentation of products based on customer behavior.

Localizing the Customer's Experience

Vermont Teddy Bear had begun reaching out to the Hispanic market in the US by advertising on Spanish-language radio stations, translating the descriptions of some products on its ecommerce site, and hiring bilingual telephone operators. But it knew that it needed full Spanish-language capabilities to improve the customer experience and fully address the promising Hispanic market. Through Demandware, Vermont Teddy Bear's products will be able to be displayed with attributes relevant to the shopper, based on localization features that enable Vermont Teddy Bear to personalize the experience for both its English- and Spanish-language audiences on a single site. According to Tom Funk, Vermont Teddy Bear's Web manager, "We will be better able to serve our Spanish-speaking customers by enabling them to shop in the language they prefer."

Enhancing Shopping...and Revenues

Bear accessories are a major revenue generator and Vermont Teddy Bear wanted its customers to be able to find these items quickly and easily. Demandware eCommerce enables Vermont Teddy Bear to make it easier and more enjoyable for the customer to personalize his or her bear. By checking boxes for accessories presented on the page, the customer can add a miniature cell phone, dark glasses, hiking boots, a little bouquet of felt flowers, or one of many other accessories. "We're now able to present our accessories in a compelling way. The customer is happier because the gift is more personalized and we're delighted because the average order value is higher," explains Funk.

At the same time, Demandware's guided search functionality allows Vermont Teddy Bear to refine the site's search capabilities in response to search results. For instance, Vermont Teddy Bear can create a new product or accessory category

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