The largest web retailer in North America moves to interest “artisan” sellers in the Handmade online marketplace.
60-65% of the retailer’s sales come from repeat shoppers, the CEO says.
Health supplements e-retailer PureFormulas.com, No. 395 in the Top 500 Guide, boasts the thirteenth highest conversion rate among Top 500 Retailers: 10.74% in 2012. It’s also one of the fastest-growing retailers in the guide. Its annual web sales totaled $30.75 million in 2012, up 54.1% from $19.96 million in 2011. That makes it No. 39 among Top 500 retailers in order of their annual growth rates; among web-only retailers in the Top 500 Guide, it’s No. 24.
“It boils down to just getting that repeat of purchases from customers,” says Jose Prendes, PureFormulas.com CEO. “We don’t let them down, we get them back—on the first purchase we try to wow them.”
That wow hinges on fast, free shipping, he explains. The retailer offers free shipping on all orders and promises delivery within seven days. But, typically it takes just two or three days, which impresses customers and motivates them to buy again, he says.
“Sure it’s an investment for us, [we spend] a good amount of money spent on shipping and packaging,” Prendes says. “But as a customer, I don’t want to see an itemized cost at the end with $8- $9 added for shipping.”
PureFormulas.com also offers free returns. Its 2012 return rate was 1.50%, according to Internet Retailer data. Fast, free shipping and its focus on customer service, is paying off in loyal customers, the retailer says. About 60-65% of sales stem from repeat customers, Prendes says. Now it is investing in a new technology to enable recurring order placements with automatic shipping that will make repeat purchasing easier, he says.PureFormulas.com spent the last year evaluating vendors and is now finalizing development plans. When the program is built, it will allow customers to set up automatic refills for the dietary supplements they buy regularly, such as a 90-day supply of magnesium citrate capsules.
The new technology will also allow the retailer to target customers based on their order histories in an automated way. For example, it could send a customer an e-mail reminder to reorder based on how long it’s been since her last order, estimating when she is almost out of a supplement, says PureFormulas.com chief marketing officer Daniel Moure. “There’s a ton of stuff we haven’t had the opportunity yet to do,” he says. “We’re extremely excited about this year.”