Lands’ End Refines Its Online/Offline Strategies

Dodgeville, WI–To trim catalog costs while continuing to reach its Web buyers through print, apparel cataloger Lands’ End will roll out a scaled-back version of its catalog for its online customers this fall.

“In September 1999, we started to test different mailings to our customers who shop online,” says spokesperson Beverly Holmes. “We mailed a catalog to some of them, postcards to others, direct mail fliers to others, and to others we mailed nothing. What we found was that you must send them something to drive traffic to the Website—and what you send them must be more like a catalog than a postcard in order for it to be successful.”

In a second attempt to drive online buyers to the company’s Website, “we’ll be doing a ‘versioning test,’ in which we’ll mail fewer pages of our catalog to our online buyers,” Holmes says. “For example, a typical 164-page catalog might be scaled down to a 100-page catalog for our Web shoppers.” The company might also reduce the frequency of mailings to its online shoppers. “For example, if we typically mail 13 catalogs to a customer who shops online, we might now only mail 10.” While Holmes would not disclose the company’s intended method for measuring the results of its versioning test, she says the company will analyze and compare results between the catalogs that are mailed to online buyers and those that are not.

In addition to its new catalog strategy, Lands’ End will discontinue the body-scanning technology it uses to gauge customers’ measurements for its My Virtual Model, a three-dimensional online model build according to the individual customer’s measurements. According to Holmes, the technology vendor, Cary, NC-based ImageTwin, did not get the funding it needed to move forward in rolling out the product.

“Right now, ImageTwin will be absorbed back into its parent company, TC2,” she says. While ImageTwin still has scanners available, it’s not rolling out the program, which would feature body-measurement scanners at kiosks in shopping malls throughout the country. Lands’ End’s My Virtual Model technology will continue, but customers will have to manually input their measurements, as many customers have done since the model feature was introduced.

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