Liz Claiborne Invests $12M to Upgrade E-Commerce in Q4

In a sign of the importance of e-commerce to its overall business, Liz Claiborne invested $12 million in cross-channel activity and new e-commerce capabilities in the fourth quarter of 2010. The retailer has been using its investments to upgrade platforms affecting both the customer-facing front-end and back-end fulfillment.
In addition to the above enhancements that have given the company better inventory visibility and flexibility, Liz Claiborne executives stated that online and social networking efforts have produced positive results. They also cited strong results from leveraging a customer loyalty database.
The success of these upgrades is aimed at helping the company strike a better balance between its in-store and online customer communities.
“One thing that we’ve obviously been very good at is leveraging a database of loyal customers that we’ve built in store and fattening the fat cat, so to speak, through outbound e-mails to them,” said William McComb, CEO and executive director of Liz Claiborne during a recent conference call. “But we’re now actually working aggressively in the other direction, which is to use the web to actually drive traffic locally in targeted stores and build store productivity.”
McComb acknowledged that the company’s store and online communities need to support each other. By further investing in e-commerce, Liz Claiborne is planning to “build the community values of the store that mirror what we’re learning about building community online.”
Future projects for Liz Claiborne include plans to expand mobile commerce initiatives. “We will be doing lots with mobile apps and mobile capability, and definitely being even more interactive with consumers,” said McComb. Social networks will be a key interaction point; McComb added that the company’s Facebook fan numbers are building quickly.
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