October 18, 2011, 1:17 PM

Gifts retailer Pittman & Davis quadruples average order value with automated gift lists

The e-retailer also boosts e-mail open rate by including a personalized list of previous purchases.

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Cataloger and e-retailer of fresh fruit and baked goods Pittman & Davis has quadrupled the average ticket on its e-commerce site by making it easier for customers to reorder the gifts they sent in the past.

Up until this month, says internet marketing manager Daryl Logullo, the retailer has been including Gift Lists, or hard copy inserts of customers’ previous purchases, with its printed holiday catalog. That way, customers could check off gifts they wanted to send again, sign and return.

However, Pittman & Davis, a unit of Southern Fulfillment Services LLC, No. 588 in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide, wanted to reduce mailing costs and provide additional ordering options for those customers who might not want to fill out a printed form, Logullo says.

It also wanted to drive some catalog purchases online. “Pittman typically skews to an older audience, age 60 plus, so measuring their adoption to using this new format of placing mass gift orders, or even migrating their ordering behaviors slightly to the web, we concluded, would be an interesting exercise,” Logullo says.

So this month, Pittman & Davis rolled out a feature that enables customers to view their Gift Lists online and easily send the same gifts to the same recipients. To test and promote the new feature, the retailer e-mailed 20,000 customers with a “See Your Gift List Online!” alert. Each message included a personalized URL that brought customers to their online account, and allowed them to reorder.

The retailer was pleased with the results, as the Gift List message spawned a 250% increase in open rates, a 550% increase in unique clickthroughs and a 15% reduction in unsubscribe rates versus standard e-mail campaigns, Logullo says. Pittman & Davis plans to further promote the new feature leading up to the holidays with additional e-mail campaigns.

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