March 26, 2013, 8:58 AM

Larger basket size drives online growth for Tiffany & Co.

The jewelry maker says e-commerce represented 6% of global sales in 2012.

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Public commentary from Tiffany & Co. on the details of its e-commerce business is rare, but on Friday company executives disclosed a few snippets of information that point to the web being a growing priority for the jewelry maker.

For the year ended Jan. 31, 2013, Tiffany, No. 116 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, said e-commerce sales grew 6% for the fourth quarter and 4% for the year. The merchant did not disclose exact numbers but did say the web represented 6% of total worldwide sales of $3.79 billion, or about $227.7 million. Online sales growth was driven partly by larger average order values, Mark Aaron, vice president of investor relations told analysts on its year-end earnings call.

The merchant operates e-commerce sites in 13 countries, where online sales represented 8% of total sales, the same share as in the prior year, he said.

“As we've said repeatedly, our web sites play an important role in our marketing communication to enhance brand and product awareness and drive store traffic,” Aaron added. “We will debut a redesigned web site in the second half of the year that will address overall changes in the digital landscape, including social media and the increased use of mobile devices.

Tiffany is the second-largest online jewelry retailer in the Top 500 Guide, behind Blue Nile Inc., No. 71, which brought in $348 million in web sales in 2011. Tiffany’s knack for setting the mood drove Internet Retailer editors to include the merchant in its most recent Hot 100 magazine issue, which highlighted the e-commerce sites the magazine recognized as the most innovative in 2012. 

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