Costco to Boost Online Visibility with E-Commerce Platform Upgrade

Costco is moving to a new e-commerce platform that will improve the online visibility of its website. The transition, planned for this summer, "will bring users to via search engines, which our much older current system does not allow," said Costco CFO Richard Galanti during a recent conference call.

The retailer is also moving into mobile commerce, with plans to launch its first smartphone app this summer, Galanti added. Additional digital commerce expansion will come in late 2012 or early 2013, when Costco will expand online commerce to markets outside the U.S. and Canada.

Despite the limitations of its current e-commerce platform, Costco's site is performing well, with Galanti reporting increases in both sales and profits during Q2 of fiscal 2012, which ended February 12, 2012. "Our average ticket has come down a little bit, but our site traffic continues strong," he noted. "It was up a little over 9% in the quarter year-over-year."

For Costco as a whole, net sales for the quarter increased 10% over the same period the previous year, to $22.51 billion.

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