July 27, 2005, 12:00 AM

Cooking.com cooks up new product lines

Cooking.com is adding new products and marketing partners to increase its online inventory to about 25,000 SKUs. The new lines will help Cooking.com diversify and attract more new and repeat business, says Larry Sales, vice president of marketing.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Cooking.com is once more adding products and marketing partners to increase its online inventory to about 25,000 SKUs. Last September, Cooking.com signed a marketing and merchandising alliance with Jessica’s Biscuit, an online book retailer. The deal added about 9,000 products to its inventory and enabled Cooking.com to expand its merchandising base and attract new customers who want to purchase a cookbook along with their cooking gear.

Now Cooking.com, which ranks as No. 169 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, is adding product lines ranging from barbecue grills and vacuum cleaners to tableware and gourmet foods. To carry more merchandise, Cooking.com signed new marketing and merchandising dealers with other specialty web retailers such as BBQGalore.com, BBQGuys.com, igourmet.com and others.

The company is adding more diverse lines of merchandise after receiving feedback from customers asking Cooking.com to carry more brands. “It may seem different for a cooking site to carry vacuum cleaners, but they are used in the kitchen and this is one of the new lines our customers were asking for,” says Larry Sales, vice president of marketing.

Giving serious cooks new and diverse ways to shop online is important to Cooking.com, which expects 2005 web sales to increase by about 10% to around $33 million. “Every time they make a purchase we call or send them an e-mail, thank them and ask how the shopping experience was,” says Sales. “They rate the experience and tell us what we can do better, which includes adding more of the brands and products they want to find on our site.”

With its extended line of products, Cooking.com has also added more site content to gauge customer feedback. For instance, Cooking.com is adding customer reviews to each product. The product page lists how many customers have recently purchased a particular item and includes a multi-star rating of each product along with a series of detailed reviews.

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