April 1, 2014, 1:13 PM

Improved content leads to more web sales for jeweler Signet

The launch of education site Jewelrywise.com contributed to an increase in e-commerce sales of 26% in fiscal 2014 for the retailer.

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Better content and the release of new mobile helped drive e-commerce growth in the past year at Signet Jewelers, CEO Mike Barnes recently told Wall Street analysts on the company’s recent year-end earnings call. Signet operates e-commerce sites Kay.com and Jared.com in the United States and HSamuel.co.uk and ErnestJones.co.uk in the United Kingdom.

For the fiscal 2014 year ended Feb. 1, Signet, No. 167 in the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide reported:

 

  • Total e-commerce sales, which include the U.S. and United Kingdom, grew year over year 26.4% to $164.1 million from $129.8 million in fiscal 2013.
  • U.S. web sales increased 26.4% to $129 million from $102 million.
  • U.K. web sales grew 23.6% to $35.1 million from $28.4 million.
  • Total sales increased 5.5% $4.20 billion from $3.98 billion.
  • U.S. comparable-store sales increased 5.2% while same-store sales in the U.K. increased 1%.
  • Net income increased 2.3% to $368.0 million from $359.9 million
  • The web accounted for 3.9% of total sales compared with 3.3% in fiscal 2013.

 

In fiscal 2014, Signet made advances in providing content to online shoppers and in mobile commerce, Barnes told analysts. “We surround customers with e-commerce and social media touch points and we engage them in digital ecosystem marketing not only through Kay.com and Jared.com, but also through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other points of interaction,” Barnes said.

Signet in the last year launched an online education site called Jewelrywise.com. In addition to letting customers buy online from Kay.com and Jared.com, Jewelrywise.com features multiple sections on how to buy an engagement ring, find and buy jewelry as a gift and learn the basics of successful online jewelry shopping . “Jewelrywise.com is an excellent resource for customers who want to know more about jewelry in a more objective in a softer sale kind of environment,” Barnes told analysts.

Signet also launched updated iPhone, iPad and Android apps with new features that allow customers with a Signet private label credit card to pay  balances using  web-enabled mobile devices. “We evolved Kay.com and Jared.com and we optimized the customer experiences for both desktop and mobile devices,” Barnes told analysts.

For the fourth quarter Signet reported:

 

  • Total e-commerce sales, which include the U.S. and United Kingdom, grew year over year 23.6% $79.0 million from $63.9 million in Q4 fiscal 2013.
  • U.S. web sales increased 21.4% to $61.9 million from $51 51.0. million.
  • U.K. web sales grew 32.6% to $17.1 million from $12.9 million.
  • Total sales increased 3.3% $1.56 billion from $1.51 billion.
  • U.S. comparable-store sales increased 4% while same-store sales in the U.K. increased 5.7%.
  • Net income increased 2.0% to $175.2 million from $171.8 million
  • The web accounted for 5.1% of total sales compared with 4.2% in Q4 fiscal 2013.

In February, Signet announced it will buy competitor Zale Corp.. Signet says it expects to pay about $900 million for Zale. Zale, No. 203, operates online shopping sites Zales.com and GordonsJewelers.com, plus about 1,700 stores. Signet has yet to set a closing date for the deal.

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