PostScript

Last Year's Headline: Hy & Zel's puts on Internet marketing push Synopsis: In an effort to attract a greater number of younger customers, Hy & Zel's, a 16-store drug and grocery chain based in Thornhill, Ont., announces it is launching...

Last Year’s Headline: Hy & Zel’s puts on Internet marketing push

Synopsis: In an effort to attract a greater number of younger customers, Hy & Zel’s, a 16-store drug and grocery chain based in Thornhill, Ont., announces it is launching a comprehensive e-commerce site and Internet marketing program. Developed in conjunction with Markham, Ont.-based Valu-Net, the Web program is expected to begin selling herbal remedies, groceries and general merchandise by the spring. Hy & Zel’s says it is planning to rely on its regular printed flyers and television spots to drive people to the site. Details of specific online marketing efforts are not disclosed.

One Year Later: The chain failed to meet its April 1999 target. A sign on the Hy & Zel’s Web site at www.hyandzel.com still reads ‘Online Shopping Coming Soon.’ Meanwhile, Joe Shanab, Hy & Zel’s director of marketing and purchasing, says he’s not at liberty to elaborate on why the rollout of the chain’s e-commerce initiative has not progressed as rapidly as planned, adding, ‘I don’t know the direction we’re taking.’

Last Year’s Headline: HMV chooses Canada for e-commerce experiment

Synopsis: HMV announces it will put a huge push behind a Web-based e-commerce strategy. Canada is selected as the first market to try out the music retailer’s new effort. British and Japanese sites are next on the list. Leveraging its strong retail brand, and Canadians’ adoration of the Web, HMV hopes to draw traffic to its site, which will catalogue more than 300,000 CD, video and DVD titles, as well as feature high-impact graphics, facts and downloadable music samples. Interactive kiosks are installed in stores across the country to provide an alternative Web access point.

One Year Later: HMV’s site is now ranked among the top e-commerce sites in the country and was awarded the first-ever ‘E-tailer of the Year’ award at the Canadian Music Week Gala Industry Awards Dinner earlier this month. It’s currently linking its site with the newly launched sites in Britain, Japan and Australia – serving up access to more than a million titles. Features such as live online performances, links to the artists’ Web sites, exclusive offers and targeted e-mails have made the site a huge success, says Sara Ross, HMV Canada’s Internet marketing manager. The site has been known to outsell individual bricks-and-mortar HMV stores on some new releases – especially when the above-mentioned promotional elements are added, Ross says. Approximately 30% of HMV’s Canadian customers are now using the Net to either browse or buy, she adds. Ross says that in the very near future, HMV will launch a permission-based e-mail newsletter that will target consumers by music genre, providing alerts to new releases, special offers, contests and events.

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