IQ News: Revamps Consumer-Targeted Site

Online consumers at a loss for the perfect words or gifts for any and all occasions, take heed.
Eighty-year-old greeting card and tchotchke purveyor Hallmark today will unveil what company officials are calling the final beta stages of its retooled Web site, with the final site relaunch expected in mid-summer.’s new iteration features an e-commerce component, as well as free-to-user e-tools such as an online calendar and address book that will remind registered users when and to whom Hallmark cards and gifts should be sent.
Paul Inman, interactive marketing manager at Kansas City, Mo.-based Hallmark, said the added features will help the site evolve into a “vertical portal for relationship management” offering easy-to-order gifts and e-cards to time-crunched consumers.
When first launched in fall 1996, its Web content contained mostly corporate information. The site expanded somewhat to include free and fee-based e-card options. But in recent years, competitors like Cleveland-based American Greetings, which has a presence both on America Online and at, as well as its own, and online card shop Blue Mountain Arts, Boulder,
Co., have seen their traffic, and sales, rise.
Inman said Hallmark took cues from its customers as to when the site should expand its e-commerce area.
“We hope to drive people from the site back to retail outlets, and vice versa,” said Inman.
With a line-up that includes the Hallmark group of greeting cards, Hallmark Entertainment, which produces movies of the week, and Binney & Smith’s flagship Crayola name, Inman said that the Web site will more wholly integrate brands and content.
A new print and banner ad campaign rolls out in July, but for now, all existing advertising is tagged with the site’s URL, as are the backs of 3.5 billion Hallmark cards available in stores nationwide. ƒ