How did you make the transition to online selling?
Sales & Customer Service mentor Lillian Vernon responds: In 1995, when the Internet and e-commerce were becoming popular, I decided to create an online store ( www.lillianvernon.com) that would complement my mail order catalogs. I realized a Web site would be an important investment in our company's future growth. We could save money printing and mailing catalogs and tap into a vast audience of new customers. I envisioned great possibilities for marketing and promoting our brand via the Web, including partnerships with other companies that complement our customer base. Lillian Vernon Online is doing very well and we are always adding new features, new products, special promotions, and services to provide the best customized shopping for our customers. Our Web site has attracted many new customers -- especially men, which is great, since most of our catalog customers are women. We are also soon going to launch a business-to-business Web site for our wholesale division.
Our goal is to have a compelling site so browsers will become buyers and visit often. The safety of our site and the security of all customer transactions are protected through encrypted software. We encourage users to answer a survey so we can offer them products and services that suit their individual needs. Our customer service representatives are trained to handle e-mailed customer inquiries. We have specialists who answer all customer inquiries within 24 hours.