Databank Retail: Eddie Bauer's banner time of year

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Back-to-school fashions and end-of-summer clearance sales prompted a stepped-up marketing campaign for, making it one of the most heavily advertised apparel brands online for the month of August, according to research and analysis firm Jupiter Media Metrix. All told, Spiegel Publishing, part of Eddie Bauer owner the Spiegel Group, tallied 42.5 million impressions.

According to Polly Bickel, marketing manager-online customer acquisitions, the clothing retailer ramped up for the holiday buying season in August when the fall products became available. The banners, some of which promoted, feature the saying "back to school" with fashions for the "9-to-3 set." Others were connected with a large August sale.

The company seeks a broad audience. "[We run] really across the board-search, shopping, efficiency and network placements," Ms. Bickel said. The back-to-school ads were a brand-focused promotion of the year-old kids' section of the main site, which ran on Landmark Communications', Sabre Holdings-backed, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's, Terra Lycos' Lycos and CBS-backed

Among the Eddie Bauer media buys, which included at least 30 different ads, the August sale ads had the most impressions, followed by the kids' site ads. For instance, one banner, promoting "Clothes you can wear now," garnered 6.3 million impressions during August. All of the promotions are in sync with marketing in the Eddie Bauer catalogs and retail stores. "Our campaign strategy is in line across our channels," she said.

In terms of sales, the top three advertising partners for the site are consistently (which announced it is changing its name to earlier this month), and Ms. Bickel attributes the success to the fact that the banners are delivered to users once they are finished with a specific task, such as checking the weather, so they are more apt to click on the ads and shop at the Eddie Bauer store. "The placement and the delivery of the banner is really key," she said.

Like many other online retailers, Eddie Bauer has focused in the last six months on streamlining the transaction process, whether it be purchasing or returning items, offline or online. "We don't try to distinguish between the channels for the customer because it's all Eddie Bauer to them," Ms. Bickel said.

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