Nationwide Relaunches Web Site

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Winston-Salem, N.C. - Nationwide Marketing Group (NMG) has upgraded its BrandsDirect.com consumer site with improved graphics and a comprehensive product catalog.

According to NMG member services director Frank Sandtner, BrandsDirect was initially designed as a basic site for dealers on a budget who were either new to the Web or looking to increase their online exposure.

The revamped site is now highly customizable to showcase a dealer's specific product categories, brands, store offers and locations, while remaining affordable, he said.

In addition to inviting, high-quality Web pages, the new BrandsDirect.com features a comprehensive yet user-friendly product catalog that allows customers to narrow their product search or compare up to four SKUs using multiple criteria. The net effect is "a high-end shopping experience not easily found in even more expensive Web solutions," Sandtner said.

Nationwide cited market research showing that the percentage of the U.S. population using the Web has increased across every age group over the past five year. Usage peaks at 93 percent for 12- to 17-year-olds, although 62 percent of consumers between the ages of 60 and 64 also visit the Web.

 Advances in broadband technologies and improved content have increased the average time spent online to 14 hours per week, which is displacing other activities like reading newspapers and magazines, Nationwide said.

 "The Internet is a highly competitive retail space, and consumers have little tolerance for sites that are slow to load or do not seem to meet the consumers' needs," Sandtner said. "Everyone wants to drive consumers to their site and keep them engaged while they are there. This is what the serious shopper is looking for when doing research and this is what we provide on BrandsDirect.com."

In preparation for this week's relaunch, NMG began hosting a 10-part Webinar series on how dealers can leverage free local search opportunities to further enhance their Web sites.

"To be fully optimized, you want your store to ‘show-up' in as many search engines and directories as possible.  It is also helpful to set-up service with Internet marketing companies in your local areas," Sandtner said.

NMG will run live demonstrations of the upgrades and features of the new BrandsDirect.com Web site at its upcoming PrimeTime! conference and buying show, running Aug. 16-19 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla.

For more information on BrandsDirect.com contact Sandtner at frank.sandtner@nationwidegroup.org.

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