February 6, 2008, 12:00 AM

FragranceNet’s growth hints of repeat orders and broad selection

The web-only retailer of brand name fragrances and other products reports 44% growth for 2007. Adding products such as hair care and aromatherapy combined with discounted fragrance pricing to keep customers coming back, says Jason Apfel, president.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

FragranceNet.com reports 2007 sales of $72 million, up 44% from $50 million in 2006. The web-only retailer of brand name fragrances and other products, including skin and hair care and candles, has grown its product line to more than 11,000 SKUs, president Jason S. Apfel tells Internet Retailer. The company’s reorder rate is behind its growth, which is fueled by two factors.

“One is product selection,” Apfel says. “When we’re doing on and offline marketing that brings people to our site, it’s our goal to make sure we have a product. It’s what fuels our conversion rate.” In addition to fragrances, FragranceNet carries body lotion, shower gel and powders.

The other reason: FragranceNet.com sells commodity products. “If the customer has worn Polo Sport cologne for five years and they get it a little cheaper from us, with free shipping, in our estimation it’s a no-brainer that if the bottle runs out they know where to go.”

To further drive reorders the company offers bonuses including a free gift, such as a compact mirror.

2008 is bringing some overdue changes to the FragranceNet web site, Apfel says, which hasn’t been upgraded in five years. New functions include enhanced product search and photo zoom.

Alexander Interactive, a New York web design company, is assisting with the redesign and FragranceNet’s I.T. staff is implementing the changes internally. The company is targeting rollout for spring.

FragranceNet, No. 179 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, also plans to continue its fledgling international marketing strategy, which already is targeting the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. The new web site also will be translated into other languages, beginning with Spanish and Japanese, Apfel adds.

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