Bestselections.com wants to put its best foot forward with a new look and its first ad campaign since its founding 1 1/2 years ago.
The luxury goods Web site, an e-tailer of everything from $23 pantyhose to $1,500 Chanel suits, will relaunch later this month. The revamped site will have up-to-date design, including more graphics, upgraded features and search categories, said BestSelections.com Chairman Christine Merser.
When BestSelections launched, it promised to find unique or luxury quality items from merchants such as New York's Restaurant Daniel, Aspen, Colo., art gallery the Hollander Collection or Palm Beach, Fla., jeweler Greenleaf & Crosby. The site works as an online mall for merchants or as a personal shopper for users, who can search for items or gift suggestions.
STORES TO DOUBLE TO 150
The site's stores will double, from 70 to approximately 150, when it relaunches Oct. 25 with a redesign by Nuforia, New York. The site will have real-time customer service as well as editorial content and upgraded graphics.
The relaunch gets under way with an ad in November's Vogue, followed by additional print ads, radio spots, banner ads and some direct mail. Ads will appear in "unsuspecting places," such as Playbill and Town & Country, where it's unusual to find Web site advertising, said Ms. Merser.
The campaign, from Ziccardi & Partners, New York, is tagged "How the other half clicks" in what Ms. Merser described as a "multimillion-dollar campaign."
It's the first advertising since BestSelections embarked in spring 1998. Ms. Merser, an Internet consultant, and Jody Owen, a managing director of Bear Stearns & Co. who specialized in Internet start-ups, founded the company.
The relaunch timing could not be better; most analysts predict e-tailers of all kinds will have a big holiday selling season. Nearly 70% of consumers on the Internet plan to do part or all of this year's holiday shopping online, according to a recent survey from researcher Greenfield Online.
BestSelections' site is a way for specialty stores to reach customers who may not fly to Aspen for a gift, but are willing to spend on the best products. Best Selections' revenue comes from a percentage of the sales it drives to the merchant, as well as fees to set up and maintain online stores.
Ms. Merser said the site will not run banner ads.
"When you're shopping Saks Fifth Avenue, you don't want to see ads on the walls," Ms. Merser said. "Our model has nothing to do with banner ads."
Copyright October 1999, Crain Communications Inc.