Contacts: Andy Stevenson, Senior Director, Crutchfield.com (based in Charlottesville, Va.)
“Create an experience” is almost a cliche in retail these days. Dealers across the country have built beverage bars, designed homelike vignettes on their showfloors, hosted events ranging from cooking demonstrations to pro athlete appearances, and worked hard to form intricate relationships with customers that will keep ‘em coming back for services as well as products. But these days, Andy Stevenson, the senior director at Crutchfield.com, is applying that experience-retail philosophy to a new medium: the internet.
“The site is a bit like opening the door to a retail store,” says Stevenson, who came to Crutchfield two years ago after working on Dell’s internet sales operation. “It is an environment and you have to make it welcoming...Online, things have gone from brochure and light content to becoming more of an all-encompasing store. I think it makes a lot of sense. Sites are evolving from a transaction-based site to an interactive-based site.”
Stevenson says he focuses his strategic attention on this question: What do people want to accomplish when they come to the Crutchfield site? Are they coming to research only? To buy? to get help with a product they already bought? “People don’t come to learn about your company, they want something from your company!” he says. “Make sure you help them get it.”