Long known as a preferred online shopping destination for higher-income shoppers looking for just the right cooking pan, blender or kitchen gadget, Cooking.com is now diversifying its merchandising categories and adding new brands such as Revere Ware to appeal to more middle-income shoppers. “We did a lot of guest surveys and that convinced us that perhaps we were a bit snooty,” says Dawn Allen, Cooking.com vice president and general merchandising manager. “More customers told us they wanted middle-of-the-road brands and we see that as a growth area.”
Due to customer loyalty, Allen says Cooking.com enjoys a sales conversion rate of nearly 4%, higher than the industry average. The retailer’s average ticket size is about $87. “Our customers can be very brand conscious, but for the baking pan they only use for special occasions they may want an item that’s priced inexpensive to moderate,” Allen says. “We are going to stock more middle-of-the-road brands that give shoppers this option.”
Cooking.com revised its merchandising strategy after conducting several marketing campaigns and soliciting customer feedback. Cooking.com had 2003 web sales of $33.5 million.