The journey from satellite services?provider to Internet retailer of items for the home may sound unusual but, for the folks at AllAmericanDirect.com, it makes perfect sense. ?
AllAmericanDirect.com provides distant network service to 120,000 satellite TV customers as well as additional satellite services, such as high-speed Internet and radio. Last year, it launched an e-commerce site offering consumer electronics such as TVs to customers.?
Due to the success of that endeavor, the company is relaunching its Web site in August with approximately 1,000 household products, as well as a new look and feel. Between 5,000 and 10,000 items are expected to be available on the site by the end of the year. ?
“Today, if a consumer wants DISH Network, a TV, a couch, a fan and a home security system, they have to go to multiple places,” said Shawn Schwegman, director of marketing and e-commerce at the company. “We are looking to simplify that buying experience and create packages for customers.”?
In addition to consumer electronics, the initial product array will include home décor, sheet sets, back-to-school and home and garden items.?
By the end of the year, the company expects to expand into jewelry, apparel, books, music and video games. ?
“Consumers aren’t as loyal as they used to be,” noted Schwegman. “In order to survive, we have to adapt and grow so we can bring as much value as we can to our customers.”?
AllAmericanDirect.com will promote?its new wider selection of merchandise through the 20 million to 30 million pieces of direct mail it typically sends out every month. The nationally distributed pieces push satellite TV service. ?
Instead of a straightforward service offer, the pieces drive recipients to the Web site for a chance to win a TV or other merchandise, while also highlighting some of the items that are available on the site. ?
The company has already seen its direct mail response rates increase by approximately 20% in the past few months.?
That is a result of the addition of consumer electronics to the Web site and the fact that AllAmericanDirect.com has been more focused on “targeting potential customers more effectively,” said Schwegman. ?
He expects response rates to increase further as more products are added. ?
The company will also leverage existing radio and TV advertising, as well as search engine marketing and e-mail marketing, to push the new initiative. In addition, it will add comparative shopping engines and affiliate marketing relationships to the mix once the new Web site is launched. ?
The revamped Web site will boast a look that is “a lot cleaner, very fresh and has a younger feel to it,” said Schwegman.?
The company has also added Web 2.0 features, such as the ability to take reviews found on AllAmericanDirect.com and share them on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.?
“We’re really focusing on engagement,” Schwegman explained.