February 28, 2005, 12:00 AM

Lillian Vernon gets a spiffy new web site

E-commerce and catalog retailer Lillian Vernon Corp. launched a new web site in February with a new logo, a new look and feel, improved navigation, faster check-out and more personalization programs.

E-commerce and catalog retailer Lillian Vernon Corp. launched a new web site in February with a new logo, a new look and feel, improved navigation, faster check-out and more personalization programs. “The web is one of our keys to success and we are trying to make the new site as friendly and usable as possible,” says CEO Jonathan Shapiro.

The new design, by Fry Inc., also makes Lillian Vernon more nimble in its merchandising. “Our three product boxes on the front are highly interchangeable and allow us to react more quickly to customer behavior,” Shapiro says.

Today, the web represents about 38% of Lillian Vernon’ sales, but Shapiro says the company wants that to grow to 50% within two years. Online sales grew more than 32% from 2003 to 2004. “The web will one day be our customers’ vehicle of choice when it comes to ordering,” Shapiro predicts.

With the re-launch, Lillian Vernon is also using a new tool from Optimost LLC that lets it test hundreds of page variations at a time instead of just two as in conventional A/B testing. Each combination of offers on a page might include different pricing, product mixes and shipping offers. By changing the mix of offers and the value of each offer on each tested page, the Optimost system can produce data to show how customers respond to each page view. “It can show data on the best out of 200 rather than the best of two, or it can predict the best out of a million rather than two,” Shapiro told the eTail conference last month, adding, “This is very cost effective.”

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