Buy.com Grows Up in a Hurry1 Mar, 2009 By: Jacqueline Renfrow Response
The online retail superstore now offers more than 5 million products, and Jeff Wisot, vice president of marketing, says expanding use of direct response methods continues to spur exponential growth.
Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Buy.com officially launched as a hi-tech E-tailer in November 1997 with 30,000 products. But the "Internet Superstore" (originally called BUYCOMP.com until its re-brand in 1998) really came into fruition in the past two years. Buy.com went from being an online seller of consumer electronics, such as computer parts, printers, cameras and gaming equipment, to a virtual megastore that now features 5 million products — 4 million in stock and available to ship immediately — from televisions and sporting equipment to housewares, books and DVDs. Moving from hosting just 2.3 million products as recently as June 2007, the online E-commerce site is now No. 2 behind superstore Amazon.com.
Even in this tough economy, Buy.com saw double-digit revenue growth in 2008. And while many retailers felt the wrath of the holiday season, revenue for Buy.com was up more than 50 percent compared to December 2007. In fact, Cyber Monday sales surpassed Black Friday for the best day in the company's history. How does Buy.com account for such great success?
"It's making our advertising more entertaining and edgy that has helped us capture people's interest," says Jeff Wisot, vice president of marketing for Buy.com. "It's a non-intrusive way to get our messages in front of people — it's a different way of talking to them." And don't forget free shipping offers on millions of products, he adds. More than ever, with gas prices on the rise, the prospect is enticing to consumers.
BuyTV is a weekly TV and online show that features the demonstration of products sold on Buy.com. Products on the show see up to seven times higher sales rates than normal.
Wisot, who joined Buy.com in 2001, is one of the innovators behind the company's revenue-altering steps. The team believes that unique marketing breeds customer continuity. "Not putting the same ads out there; getting outside of the box, that's what separates us from other people. A lot of our marketing is about richer content than they [customers] have been delivered in the past," says Wisot. "For instance, getting the star of the biggest show on television, Howie Mandel, we're being more innovative and doing things to catch customers' attention."