A Beginning in Fans
In almost 30 years of retailing, Littman Brothers’ business model has evolved from importing Asian-made ceiling fans to retailing a broad portfolio of lighting products to the residential, commercial and online markets.
Building on What Works
When the company launched LittmanBros.com in 1999, Jeff Bengtson, a twenty year company veteran who currently serves as Internet Sales Manager, wasn’t even sure that an online channel was viable. After almost ten years of steady sales growth, however, the now-thriving website has become a critical sales channel with the majority of online revenue produced by domestic B2C sales.
“McAfee SECURE™ service is one of the fundamental things you have to do to be successful online. When it comes to customers providing personal information online; having the confi dence that their information is well protected is crucial to conversions.”Jeff Bengtson
Internet Sales Manager, Littman Brothers Lighting
To ensure that LittmanBros.com remains at the top of natural and paid search results as well as site conversion performance, Bengtson outsources some of the effort to online marketing agency Lever Interactive.
“Although we handle product merchandising in house, we outsource pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO), which is how we drive most of our traffi c. Lever Interactive also provides comprehensive traffi c and conversion analysis, and one of their key site improvement recommendations for us was to try McAfee SECURE service and build trust amongst our customers that their information was protected.”
Used By More than Half of the Internet Retailer Top 500
For thousands of retailers, the McAfee SECURE Service has proven highly effective at reassuring their site visitors that their personal information – should they choose to give it to the retailer when purchasing - will be safer and more secure. The technical foundation of the McAfee SECURE service is comprehensive scanning that tests the security of Web sites daily for more than 10,000 threats to help determine they are secure. In addition to this daily hacker testing, sites that earn the McAfee SECURE Trustmark also undergo a series of periodic tests for accidental practices that can lead to bad publicity and lost customer confi dence. For example, McAfee SECURE testing includes checks for unwitting linking to malicious Web sites, the hidden presence of browser exploit code, and the accidental sharing of customer e-mail data with spammers.
“People think that online retailing is all about price comparison, but it is a larger issue. People are not necessarily looking for the best deal. 1). They are looking for an easy to navigate and professional looking web site. 2). Consumers will combine all of their criteria based upon which they evaluate a product into a number they are willing to pay. The retailer who gets the order needs to offer a competitive price, the right service level, and a secure site. The McAfee SECURE Trustmark is a profi table way to address the latter issue.”Jeff Bengtson
Internet Sales Manager, Littman Brothers Lighting
Once certified to the McAfee SECURE data security standard, sites can then display the McAfee SECURE Trustmark, in addition to being identifi ed in McAfee SiteAdvisor software, as a safe and secure place to shop. Through the free download of McAfee SiteAdvisor software, Certifi ed McAfee SECURE sites are highlighted in Google, Microsoft Live and Yahoo! search results to the millions of shoppers.
Certifying a Web Site to the McAfee SECURE Data Security Standard
Bengtson was familiar with data security auditing and remediation procedures, having previously managed the process of validating his company’s compliance with the Payment Card Industry data security standard. As such, he was comfortable collaborating with McAfee’s technical staff to certify the security of LittmanBros.com to the McAfee SECURE data security standard.
Long accustomed to reviewing site metrics for his other marketing expenses, Bengtson then decided to implement an A/B test in which 50% of visitors would see the McAfee SECURE Trustmark, while the other half (the control group) would not.
“We spend a great deal of money on SEO and PPC to drive traffi c. We get a lot of customer referrals and repeat business from home owners, designers and contractors. All of these visitors want to be comfortable with their purchases and I wanted to see what giving them a general feeling of online safety is actually worth.”
The Return on a Really Good Investment
During the test period, LittmanBros.com registered almost 350 total orders, of which 14.0% more– representing 22 additional orders–came from those shoppers who had seen the McAfee SECURE Trustmark. Multiplying this conversion increase against his annual sales volume, Bengtson is very happy with the numbers.
“Although I felt that our conversion would increase somewhat, I was very surprised by the amount (percentage). It really shows how important having a secure online presence really is to our customers.”
Multichannel retailer of lighting products and accessories for residential and commercial applications