Internet Retailer Top 50 list Analysis

Internet Retailer just came out with thier top 50 list of successful internet retail sites. Besides the fact that it is fun and interesting to know who's who in the internet realm, it can also be a valuable resource for any internet marketer looking to stay ahead of the game and improve their own site.


Well, forst take a look at the traffic and revenue that your own company is currently getting through the internet. You will quickly find out how you measure up to some of the more successful websites in the world. If a company can get only 500,000 unique visitors a month to their site and still bring in $50 million in revenue a year, they are doing something right. I dont care what industry or product you are selling, the internet provides plenty of opportunity. The companies that have a relatively low amount of traffic and still pulls a comapratively high amount of sales obviously undrestand the concepts of reverse marketing over the internet. They are striking a right cord with thier consumers and target market. They are filling a need not currently being satisfied (and this doe not mean that they are the only ones providing that product or service).

It should be a benchmark for any and every marketer. I particularly am interested because I work with a company that bring in almost 3x the amount of traffic that some of these websites do, and yet have 1/4 of the revenue that they have? Some work to do? You betchya. (although i cant complain about having so much traffic- that obviously is not a hige concern as it is for many out there).

Here are my favorites out of the top 50 list:

This company is working miracles. A small startup out of Utah, they truly have begun to figure out what outdoor enthuiasts want. With only 385,00 unique visitors a month, they plan to do $50 million in revenue this year- and still growing.
Thier site is great. Very easy to navigate- and no extra scrolling! most everything is centered on one single page while navigating, and the process to get to a product is very logical and easy to understand. Once reason why they also do well is that they provide some excellent and innovative promotional activities to draw consumers in- and keep them coming back. I assume that a good portion of the revenue comes from returning visitors as well- proof that reverse marketing in done well.
I must admit that I do not like their site very much- I think it is too cluttered and busy. But, they must convert better than a ------(lets just say they do quite well). With only 83,000 unique visitors a month, the company takes in over $100 million in online sales revenue! They have to have tone of loyal customers to take in that amount of online sales. Conversion and loyalty are awesome.
The one thing I do like a lot is the pictures and descriptions that go along with every product. Its a great marketing blurb and product description with every item they have, so purchasing is a little easier for the consumer.
Another site with amazing numbers. They also make shopping for jewlrey online almost fun. Only 739,000 unique visitors a month with $169 million in online sales revenue. The interesting part is that from a month to month basis, my guess is that the return visitors who make repeat purchases are not a lot. Therefore, initial conversion and one-time sales are where most of the revenue come from.
The graphics and steps to choosing the right jewlrey are perfect for anyone looking. The best part is that they educate you during the process in a simple, easy manner. Study this site from every aspect and you have a good model to go off of.

I plan on going through more of the sites and adding some further analysis as to the reasons why these sites do so well. The point being that if the company can truly reverse market the online model and capture a customer the rest is easy.

Test, test, test

With all this reverse marketing talk about customer centered websites, I have asked myself a question- are all of the suggestions and tips for sure "homeruns" for any website?

The answer is- I don't know. Although we may follow the studies and cases and tips by professionals, the fact of the matter still remains that we cannot perfectly dictate the actions and habits of online consumers. The only way to get good results from any idea implemented is to test the new idea against what you currently have. Often times you will be amazed at the results.

For example: J.Jill retailer ran a promotion through their email campaign. They wanted to offer free shipping for orders over a certain dollar amount. Nothing new and revolutionary. But the marketers were trying to decide the right dollar amount to put. So they came up with a couple of dollar amounts and decided to test one against the other. One offer gave the free shipping to any order over $75. The other offer gave free shipping for orders over $150. The email was sent out and the results came back.
Interestingly enough, the offer with orders over $150 dollars had just as more purchases than the other offer- obviously bringing in a lot more revenue as well.
It just goes to show that you never know what the cat will bring in unless you test the different options first.

Internet Reverse Marketing

As I have blogged about reverse marketing in relation to brick and mortar organizations previously, I have currently taken interest into blogging about internet marketing as well.

I recently have had wuite a bit of experience in internet marketing, but in regards to how the consumer reacts to the internet moreso than, say, SEO tactics. Online purchasing behavior is much different than retail or other areas of business.

Simplicity is king. I blogged earlier about some keys to landing pages and campaigns relating to design and layout of the pages themselves. Since the end goalis conversion for most sites, a website needs to be focused on adapting to the consumer behavior.

Keeping everything on the site "above the fold", quick scanability, and even proiper headlines and hero shots. ALl of these elements need to be evaluated based on howthe consumer acts...not what the business wants.