E-Commerce

Department Overview

For more than 15 years, CBS Interactive Advanced Media (CBSiAM) has provided ecommerce solutions, support and expertise for our partners. We offer a couple different options for managing your e-commerce experience: we can host your store on our own proprietary e-commerce platform (with merchandise provided by the local vendor of your choice), or we can link to a third party provider's e-commerce site. In either scenario, we can integrate your store into your official site through dynamic portals, run-of-site ads, contextual links, social media and more.

You will be assigned a dedicated online account manager (OAM) to maximize the efficiency and profitability of all merchandising ventures on your site. The OAM creates marketing and promotional emails and banners; ensures hot market opportunities are met; helps manage inventory and monitor customer service; ensures conversion rates are met; and reports to our partners on an ongoing basis as to the performance of all e-commerce endeavors. The OAM monitors your official site daily to not only ensure the merchandise promotion is maximized, but also to view current developments with your property, enabling them to help all opportunities reach the maximum potential.

Online Stores

In-House Technology

CBSiAM's platform is Hacker-Safe certified daily to pass the FBI/SANS Internet Security Test, which meets and exceeds the highest security scanning standards of the U.S. government and all major credit card companies. Store servers use 128-bit encryption with the latest versions of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TSL) protocols. Platform is scanned daily to receive third party validation of PCI Compliance; certificate is available upon request and updated on a monthly basis.

Our user-friendly web tools allow vendors to add & edit merchandise to online store, add & edit department categories, create & manage inventory controls, and run complete and detailed reports (data is updated real-time). Utilizing product and order feeds, our system can communicate with the vendor's own system to minimize extra work on their end and to ensure maximum inventory accuracy on both ends. We provide custom integration with UPS software for shipping labels and tracking. We offer independent, third-party traffic monitoring via Google Analytics and Ominture. Our platform also includes a custom-built customer service ticket system wich allows Admin users to track the status of all tickets, follow responses to/from the customers and associate the tickets with orders in the system. Your OAM receives daily reports on your customer service inbox, and can step in when the vendor needs assistance or is not resolving issues in a timely manner.

Marketing & Promotion

Whether your store is on CBSiAM's platform or is hosted by a third party, your OAM can coordinate all marketing and promotion, including emails, ads and social media. We create an annual promotional calendar that serves as the backbone for store promotion, but the OAM works with the store vendor and Athletics to focus on hot market opportunities and other chances for additional marketing.

1. Custom Graphic Design Services: If your vendor does not supply its own creative, your OAM can create graphics for any ad or email campaign. We also have our own internal Graphics/Production team that can provide additional support.

2. Email Marketing: Store emails can be sent through Fanbase, our internal email marketing system. However, if the third party vendor prefers to use its own email system, we can still share email addresses from your other email subscribers to maximize the reach of all campaigns.

3. Ads: Your OAM can handle all requests to create/edit ad campaigns (including after hours during hot market opportunities or other special merchandise launches), recommend timely marketing themes and generate reports. Your OAM also works closely with our Digital Media Services and Production teams to update other promotional areas of the site not powered by our ads system.

In addition to the above, we offer the following marketing services to help maximize sales in your official store:

  • Official Site Integration: We build ecommerce links into your Official Site navigation, pointing to the most popular store departments to assist with SEO. We can provide a rotating e-commerce portal for your official site, which is powered by an XML feed from either our store platform or your third party store site.
  • Official Site splash pages / site skins: During certain hot market events or during peak sales times, we can create custom splash pages or site skins on your official site to help take advantage of the increased traffic and sales potential.
  • Product planning assistance: Through our powerful network, we are able to utilize sales data, merchandising practices, and conversions of over 100 official stores, giving us unmatched comparable information to analyze. We also monitor your official site to pick up on hot market product & sales opportunities.
  • Customer Service Support: When store customers contact us, either through your official site or by phone, your OAM will be able to answer general questions, provide instructions on common tasks and either direct them to the third party vendor's online store CS department or submit their request directly to vendor on the customer's behalf. Additionally, if your store is on our platform, the OAM can help with payment / credit card issues or general technical troubleshooting.
  • Go-Between: Your OAM provides updates to both your staff and the third party vendor in regards to upcoming store promotions, special products or events, technical issues and facilitating escalated customer concerns.

Online Auctions

CBSiAM has been using an in-house auction platform that we built from the ground up nearly ten years ago. We developed the platform with the same programming team that manages our online store platform, so many of the reports / features of the platforms are similar; this creates the added benefit of faster delivery of site fixes and upgrades, and continuity of reporting.

By providing fans the opportunity to bid on collectibles, jerseys & equipment, tickets, fan experiences and one-of-a-kind items, you are providing a great new method to generate fan interest, while at the same time adding substantial revenue for your athletic department at margins as high as 90%. Each year, several schools generate six figures in gross revenue from their online auctions; and with the proper participation from Athletics, schools can generate more revenue from auctions than from the Official Store.

Schools receive a fully branded auction site, with the look and feel of the OAS, including links to all areas of the OAS. Many features set CBSiAM's auction system apart, such as:

  • Items can be added on the fly or scheduled to go live in the future through our simple online tools; reporting is real-time, so you can check at any time the status of live or completed auctions;
  • Credit card information required BEFORE placing a bid on an auction, greatly reducing the amount of auctions that go unpaid;
  • "Popcorn Bidding" option automatically extends the closing time if there is bidding activity towards the end of the auction, allowing for higher auction prices (and preventing bid "sniping");
  • CBSiAM will also promote the auctions through an auction hub site on CBSSports.com, with the same revenue split being paid to Athletics, regardless of where the winning bid comes from.
  • Certain high profile auctions can be marketed to CBSSports.com users via targeted email databases and under special circumstances, on local CBS television affiliates or CBS Sports broadcasts.
  • We have several affiliate partners that can provide memorabilia of former players and other items to ensure your site always has items and generate additional revenue;

Athletics will have a dedicated Account Manager assigned to the auction site (your OAM will be the same person who manages your store). Similar to the store relationship, this person will assist in all aspects of the online auctions, including:

Auction Development

All auction items can be sent to the CBSiAM office in Carlsbad, where the items will be photographed, listed to sell and shipped out once they are sold. This lessens the workload for the athletic department and allows us to assist in managing the customer experience. Shipping the items to us is not a requirement, however. Schools can also send digital images to CBSiAM along with the auction info, and ship the items directly to the winning bidder. In addition, some items can be posted as a pick-up-only. This is done often with larger items such as old lockers, stadium seats, etc.

Marketing & Promotion

CBSiAM provides comprehensive online marketing and promotional support through emails, contextual listings, banners and navigational links on the official athletics site. For bigger auction campaigns, we can also design/implement splash pages for a limited run on your OAS. In addition, a small section on your home page will dynamically promote the hottest auction items through a portal, similar to what we provide for our Online Store partners. Finally, your OAM will work with you to post timely updates to various social media outlets, through your official Athletic Department account(s).

Auction Planning

CBSiAM actively maintains a log of our best-selling auction items across the network, allowing us to make recommendations to all of our schools that are looking for a boost in auction sales. Our relationships with companies such as Mounted Memories, Steiner Sports and Upper Deck provide additional opportunities for memorabilia auctions on your site.

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