July 29, 2009, 12:00 AM

Personalization generates bigger tickets at FreshDirect

Since the new technology went live, about 20% of FreshDirect’s customer base have made additional purchases based on product recommendations, says CEO Richard Braddock. The average ticket is about 10% bigger.

Personalization technology tied to its extensive customer database is increasing the average order at FreshDirect LLC, CEO Richard Braddock tells Internet Retailer.

In March, FreshDirect, No. 62 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, tested an internally developed personalization application that hits shoppers with recommended items or frequently purchased items as they complete an order. The full system was rolled out this summer. “What makes our application unique is how extensive we can make our recommendations,” says Braddock. “We have a rich customer database that tracks what customers purchase SKU by SKU so we can generate very detailed cross-sell and upsell opportunities with this application.”

Since the new personalization technology went live, about 20% of FreshDirect’s customer base has made additional purchases based on the recommendations. When shoppers have added one or more recommended items to an order the average ticket has increased 10% to around $132, Braddock says. “We made this system very smart,” he says.

The personalization technology, which took a year to develop, is part of a broader initiative to make FreshDirect.com more customer-focused. FreshDirect also recently expanded to include seafood its five-star rating system that was launched in January for fruits and vegetables. Now before placing an order, web shoppers can see how FreshDirect’s buyers and fishmongers have rated the daily assortment of available sea food. A five-star rating means the item is the freshest available while a single star means the fish is below average. “We are taking our deep knowledge of the customer and expanding that knowledge to other areas of the site,” says Braddock.

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