February 16, 2004, 12:00 AM

Ross-Simons boosts average ticket, gains new customers with payment option

Ross-Simons has increased its average order size and acquired new customers since it started offering the Bill Me Later service as a payment option at its web site, the retailer will report at the eTail 2004 conference next week in Palm Springs, CA.

Jewelry and housewares retailer Ross-Simons has increased its average order size and acquired new customers since it started offering I4 Commerce Inc.’s Bill Me Later service as a payment option at its web site, the retailer will report at the eTail 2004 conference next week in Palm Springs, CA.

While it won’t reveal how much bigger the average ticket is when customers use Bill Me Later for payment, Ross-Simons will report that 39% of customers who choose the Bill Me Later option are new to Ross-Simons. Cindy Marshall, vice president of marketing for Ross-Simons, also will report that the combination of higher ticket and new customers has resulted in a double-digit lift in incremental sales.

Ross-Simons operates Ross-Simons.com, mails 60 million catalogs a year and operates three retail outlets.

“The Ross-Simons experience quantifies what we have been seeing for two years--Bill Me Later results in higher sales and lower costs,” says Mark Lavelle, vice president of business development. He says the typical user of Bill Me Later spends 11% more than the average credit card user. I4Commerce will also announce at the conference the results of Hotels.com’s offering of the Bill Me Later option.

Consumers can choose the Bill Me Later option rather than use a credit card online. They get immediate approval and can make a purchase right away. Just as with credit cards, they get a grace period--30 days--to pay off the balance without incurring a finance charge. After 30 days, they pay 17.9% interest. Also, just as with credit cards, merchants pay a discount for accepting the payment.

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