By  on July 7, 2005

Spring didn't just bring May flowers this year — it also brought plenty of new visitors to retailers' Web sites. Below, a listing of the sites with the largest number of unique hits from females during the month of May, and some examples of what these sites have done, or are doing, to attract even more customers. Data was provided by comScore Media Metrix, which tracked more than 25 million unique visitors to 1,331 different retail Web sites in May. The female audience consisted of women in the U.S. at home, work or college locations. The company tracks Web sites in terms of their property levels, or whether the site provides information on all of a retailer's brands, as do the sites for Limited Brands, Foot Locker and Nike. Others focus on only one subsidiary, such as Gap.com, which doesn't mention the group's other entities — Old Navy (ranked at number five), and Banana Republic.

  1. Limited Brands
    Number of female unique visitors: 3.9 million
    The Columbus, Ohio-based retail group encompasses The Limited, Victoria's Secret, Express, Henri Bendel, The White Barn Candle Co. and Bath & Body Works. Limited.com provides breakdowns regarding new fashions and open jobs for each of its brands, a store locator, company news and corporate information. Its Express brand, for example, reveals top looks for men and women, along with inside news and fashions at expressfashion.com.
  2. Otto Group
    Number of female unique visitors: 3.5 million
    Otto Group's core business is multichannel retail, which includes catalogue sales, e-commerce and retail store sales. Driving much of the online business is Crate & Barrel, but Freemans of London and two German joint ventures, Zara Deutschland GmbH and Massimo Dutti, are among Otto Group's apparel hits. The company stated that it is continuing to establish its position as the second-biggest online retailer to consumers after Seattle-based Amazon.com.
  3. Old Navy
    Number of female unique visitors: 3.4 million
    Oldnavy.com is an exact representation of its stores and its advertisements. The site is flashy and colorful, with its low prices and trendy bargains plastered across its pages. This retailer carries clothing for females young and old, including babies, children, teenagers, adults, plus-sized women and moms-to-be. Other general perks on the site include $5 shipping on every order (to all 50 U.S. states as well as to APO and FPO addresses that serve U.S. military personnel abroad), an impressive sale section and sweepstakes and contests for its readers.
  4. Nordstrom
    Number of female unique visitors: 2.4 million
    Nordstrom has the distinction of being the only department store on the list. The company pointed out that it recently updated the look and feel of its department landing pages and navigation area, which resulted in improved design and functionality. With guided navigation, customers can further filter their search results by product category, brand, color and size. This is a useful feature for Nordstrom, where the product selection is vast — a search for "shoes" returns more than 4,000 products. This year, Nordstrom switched to a $5 flat rate for shipping, regardless of the dollar value of the order. Since 2000, Nordstrom has had a live chat feature on its Web site.
  5. Gap
    Number of female unique visitors: 2.2 million
    Right off the bat, Gap advertises both new and sale products on its home page — kids will be distressed to learn the "Back to School" feature is already on the page, as well. Web site perks include free shipping on orders of $100 or more, while GapCard users get free shipping on orders over $50. The company noted that enhancements to the site are mainly based on feedback from consumers and what they want in an online shopping experience. Gapbody.com, for example, provides its shoppers with detailed breakdowns of the various types of bras sold.
  6. Alloy
    Number of female unique visitors: 1.9 million
    Alloy Inc., based in New York City, has thrived on its popularity with Gen-Yers. Alloy offers the latest styles by top name brands and encourages girls, ages 12 to 18, to have fun and be fashionable. Part of Alloy.com is even dedicated to celebrity gossip. Alloy's latest enhancement is the "Denim Destination" shop, part of the newly designed Alloy online store (store.alloy.com), which helps girls find the perfect pair of jeans. Its user-friendly design allows teens to view jeans on models and to view denim from all angles, with zoom options for close-up details. The shop also carries such features as a Fit Guide, the Denim Dictionary and Denim Do's and Don'ts.
  7. Zappos.com
    Number of female unique visitors: 1.7 million
    As one of the more well-known and well-advertised Web sites devoted to shoes, Zappos.com carries more than 75,000 styles currently on the site, with more than 1.7 million pairs of shoes and handbags in stock at its Kentucky warehouse. The site, which was founded in 1999, offers free outbound and return shipping as well as a 365-day return policy (shoppers can return their purchase anytime within one year). The company also pointed out that sales were just less than $2 million in 2000 and are now on target to bring in more than $300 million in 2005.
  8. Nike
    Number of female unique visitors: 1.4 million
    Popularity with females can be found in two of Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike's Web sites: nikewomen.com, a site geared specifically toward women, and nikeid.com, which relaunched on March 31. This site is dedicated to footwear, where people can customize their own shoes. Regarding nikewomen.com, the company pointed to its different areas devoted to activities for women such as tennis, yoga and running. The site offers sports-specific apparel, and visitors can download workout music, as well. Visitors also are updated on the latest events such as schedules for various Niketown Running Clubs across the country.
  9. Chadwick's
    Number of female unique visitors: 1.3 million
    Chadwick's, owned by Redcats USA, was founded in 1983 as the nation's first off-price fashion catalogue for women. Chadwick's Web site reveals straightforward, friendly presentation and easy-to-shop departments for women. Customers can create their own personal shopping experiences, utilizing shopping tools along the way such as a Fashion Glossary and the Shopping Basket, which tracks each item up for purchase. The Web site also offers Web-only merchandise and expanded categories such as "Social Dressing" in order to capture new customers.
  10. Foot Locker
    Number of female unique visitors: 1.2 million
    Under the New York City-based Foot Locker parent umbrella falls Foot Locker itself, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports and its direct-to-customer channel, footlocker.com/eastbay. Ladyfootlocker.com offers its visitors easy navigation with its shoe search, providing sport types and size options. The site also breaks down its most valuable picks, including a sale section and popular apparel items. Included on the home page is Lady Locker Launches, a section devoted to soon-to-be sold items. Popular footwear names such as Nike, Reebok, Adidas, New Balance, Puma and Saucony are all sold here.

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