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How JCPenney Brings Merchandise to Life Online


It’s a jungle out there for web retailers, and one of the best survival strategies is watching what’s happening at the top of the food chain. That’s why we bring the most creative, successful web retailers to speak at our annual Adobe Scene7 Customer Experience Live event, which we held last week at Adobe offices in San Francisco.

We were proud to host presentations by three retailers – two large and one small – who lead the pack in building brand loyalty and transforming casual visitors into customers. We’ll be putting out case studies on two of them – Philips, the global electronics company, and Cloudveil, a small manufacturer of high-performance outdoor apparel – in the very near future.

For now, I want to share some of the lessons learned from a presentation by Craig Horsley, manager of site operations for JCPenney’s jcp.com. JCPenney has been in business for more than a century, but it thinking like a start-up in bringing exciting new ideas to web retailing, while also operating more than 1,000 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico. Craig is responsible for new technology on JCPenney’s jcp.com site, which draws 520,000 unique daily visitors to view a selection of 31,000 products.

In one of its first tests of Rich Interactive Applications (RIAs), jcp.com offered a “bed in a bag” product in 2006 where customers could click to see how different patterns for sheets, pillow cases and comforters looked in combination. Sales for the product line were 290 percent over plan, Craig said, helping to resolve internal skepticism regarding the value of RIAs.

Jcp.com has since added interactivity to its Window Design Center for blinds and drapes; provided 360-degree spin for products including shoes; added navigation by both product category and brand; and increased product image sizes by 50 percent.

In October 2008, jcp.com made a big push into video merchandising by launching a “Walk the Runway” feature with models showing off JCPenney clothing lines, as well as offering interviews with fashion designers.

“We let the customer shop the way they want to,” said Craig. The new features, he added, have increased “add to bag” and conversion rates. Craig concluded with his six rules for successful online retailing:

1. Listen to the customer.
2. Make shopping simple.
3. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
4. Measure, measure, measure.
5. Continue to evolve and enhance.
6. Content is king.

Success stories – such as those from Philips, Cloudveil and JCPenney – have always been my favorite way of conveying how Scene7 can help build connections between online retailers and customers. I asked our marketing team to get audience feedback, and we heard the same thing.

“It was great to see what can be done with video,” said Matt Pritchard of Smith & Hawken. “I find it exciting that Scene7 is addressing the gap between common, off-brand solutions and an expensive, custom implementation. Translating the dynamic imaging model to video content is very appealing.”

“I was impressed to see how scalable and applicable Scene7 can be for any industry,” added Charles Solla of ZipRealty. “The breadth of customers represented from consumer electronics such as Philips to JCPenney to Cloudveil clearly demonstrates that Scene7 is a service that anyone can use.”

To watch Craig’s presentation email us and we’ll send you the link to the recording.

Adobe Scene7 Customer Experience Live event

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It is fascinating. I’d love to know what it costs?

Hi. It´s great how JCPenney present their cloths. How do they do it?

I´m about to open a new webshop in Norway with womans clothing – and would like to use the same technique.

How does scene7 fith in?


Hi John, thanks for your reply. It is true that the interface & navigation on JCP.com’s runway is amazing. However, the majority of getting video or animation onto the web, is really related to the production costs. My last week’s post was all about “how low can you go” with producing animation or videos. We have clients that are keeping these costs down by shooting everything in-house using their own employees. The business results have been just as great, and the ROI better. Given that, the cost of any give video project is going to vary based on amount of content, production values, etc. – so there is not a great rule of thumb.


It’s not that I have any intention to copy your blog, but I truly love the design. Could you tell me which theme are you using? Or is it custom made?

Hi. It´s great how JCPenney present their cloths. How do they do it?

I´m about to open a new webshop in Norway with womans clothing – and would like to use the same technique.

How does scene7 fith in?


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  • ShopTalk is a blog featuring "Quick Tips", trends and more written by experts from the Adobe Scene7 team who live and breathe web, rich media and customer experience. This interactive forum offers insights and best practices on the latest trends we are seeing in the marketplace to help improve your customer experience, ultimately driving conversions and revenues.
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