Women’s Health Boutique opens store in cyberspace

Thursday, September 30, 2004

CYPRESS, Texas - The Women’s Health Boutique in August launched a new Web site and online store it hopes will boost revenues and strengthen the franchise’s brand recognition.
The provider spent 18 months and $15,000 redesigning the old Web site, first launched in 1999, and creating the new e-commerce store. The company worked closely with industry experts and its franchise owners in developing the site, www.w-h-b.com.

“There is no reason a person should go without the special products or services they need,” said WHB President Daina Pitzenberger. “This system will help us reach the masses.”

The e-commerce program began beta testing through one of WHB’s 11 existing franchise locations in August. Other stores are in the process of developing individualized online stores.

The online ordering system is zip code-driven with each franchise drop shipping orders to the customers closest to them.

“Virtually within the system there are 11 warehouses instead of just one,” said Pitzenberger. “If one store is out of stock, the program immediately blasts out to the other franchises asking for the product, and it is shipped the same day.”

WHB’s online store currently features more than 70 products, including compression garments and mastectomy supplies and is expected to boost revenues for the chain by 20% over the next couple of years, according to Pitzenberger.

“The Web site is a whole new look for us,” she said. “We feel it is more feminine, and it will help people recognize our brand more, we hope.”

The redesign also features educational resources for customers. The site included a chat room where people can pose questions to WHB’s national hair loss spokesperson, and the company plans to add cancer survivor and lyphemdema survivor chat rooms in the coming months.

“It’s all about education,” said Pitzenberger. “It’s all about making the customer more comfortable because the more they know, the better they can cope with their disease.”