E-tailers should strut their stuff

It blows my mind that in the Web-ruled media, sales, and branding worlds of today established retailers don't effectively leverage their e-commerce platforms as branding tools.

It blows my mind that in the Web-ruled media, sales, and branding worlds of today established retailers don't effectively leverage their e-commerce platforms as branding tools.

Add a trend blog, live stylist chat, media partnership, whatever makes sense for the brand. A few of the biggies, however, are getting it right.

Nordstrom, for instance, has built its brand on service, and recently announced a Web redesign and upgraded inventory and search function to improve the online shopping experience.

The redesign includes fashion blogs, videos, and the option for customers to post photos and messages. The New York Times reports that the concept was, in part, inspired by Net-A-Porter. That site, one of the first and most influential luxury e-tail success stories, melds editorial content with the shopping experience.

Also this week, Sears launched Sears.com/shoes, a shoe e-commerce site that features educational videos and style expert blogs categorized by fashion, fitness, kids, and work.

As we saw with brands' hurried adoption of Facebook fan pages, e-tailers with standard sales-oriented platforms may soon find themselves investing in these kinds of tools to effectively cater to their target audience.

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