Costco”s virtual shopping
By Steve Fisher
DIGI TAL VISION
on time, in
We have never Setting things straight
seen such Even after seven years, some misperceptions perfectio hitw” still surround
costco.com. Here’s the truth. n!” ■
Costco.com is not a cyber-mirror of the ware- houses, carrying all the same products. —DianeW orth “There is only about a
10 percent overlap in inventory,” says Ginnie Roeglin, Costco’s senior vice president of e-commerce and publishing. “Members will find a few things they see in the
warehouses, but they’ll discover a whole lot more
online at costco.com.”
There are practical reasons for costco.com being
an alternative experience. According to Mike Pollard,
vice president, costco.com, “In the warehouses, floor
space is at a premium. We can put more, and bigger,
items online. Where a warehouse may be able to feature a handful of furniture, for example, costco.com’s
AS ANY COSTCO member knows, one of the most
exciting aspects of shopping is the sense that a trip
to a warehouse is like going on a treasure hunt.
While members might have an idea of what they
can expect to find, every step of the way provides
pleasant “can’t live without it” surprises.
If the warehouse operation is a veritable treasure hunt, costco.com is a virtual one—and even
more of a surprise than most people expect. A new
adventure beckons, and it helps to know what lies
ahead. Here’s a look at what you will, and won’t, find
possibilities are virtually endless.”
Furniture. From individual pieces to complete
rooms, hundreds of furniture items for every room
of the house and office are available at costco.com,
Tires. Due to space limitations, warehouse tire
centers may stock only the most widely used tires.
Costco.com offers an expanded selection of tires for
almost any vehicle. A user-friendly search tool helps
members with specialized tire needs find the wheels
they seek and have them shipped to their local warehouse for installation. A phone call or e-mail noti-fies members when the tires are on-hand and ready
to be installed.
Office products. A new business-products program features thousands of items: everything from
corporate gifts and office furniture to a vast selection
of ink and toner cartridges to paper clips. In most
cases, next-day delivery is possible. Costco.com even
offers a simple way to order a business products catalog by clicking on the button on the right sidebar of
our home page.
Year-round seasonal items. Costco warehouses
feature some items on a seasonal basis, whereas
costco.com can offer them year-round. Patio furniture, generators, grills and spas are all available
online, whether the weather is right for them or not.
Sporting goods. One of costco.com’s key initiatives this year is beefing up the selection of outdoor,