DisneyStore Starts Online Catalog

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Walt Disney Co.'s DisneyStore.com has debuted an online catalog to match its back-to-school print book.

The catalog, available at disneystore.com through a tab at the bottom of the home page, has generated more than 25,000 visits since going live July 6. It was placed online with the help of RichFX's Rich Catalog technology.

"We leverage the creative in the print catalog but find ways to maximize it using the technology of the Internet, such as search, table of contents and dynamic update of inventory," said Stephen Frieder, vice president of sales at RichFX, New York.

The catalog features Disney merchandise for girls' bedrooms along with adult apparel and home items. Snow globes, Halloween costumes as well as art and collectibles are also part of the mix. Clicking on an item takes the consumer to the pertinent page on the site, which is common to both the online store and online catalog.

The catalog lets consumers view pages by clicking the "Next" button or page numbers. They can zoom for a close-up or get a thumbnail view. Consumers also can print pages.

Dial-up users get a small view while broadband consumers see a larger image. The catalog is optimized for the user's Internet access connection speed.

RichFX hosts the catalog on its servers. But a click through the catalog takes users to the product page on the Disney servers. The switch is seamless.

RichFX creates online catalogs for Williams-Sonoma, J.C. Penney Co., LEGO, Build A Bear Workshop, Toys 'R' Us, Kenneth Cole, J. Jill and Proflowers.com. Online catalogs serve a purpose beyond leveraging the expertise of print books, Frieder said.

"It's a shopper that's more interested in buying multiple items," he said. "Online catalogs offer a better layout for things such as cross-sell."

Disney began bringing its various catalogs online in January. The company claims its online catalogs attract nearly 50,000 unique visitors per book.

Consumers soon will be able to search within the pages of Disney online catalogs and shop by cartoon character.

"We'll take information from a database for that," Frieder said.

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