June 3, 2013, 12:37 PM

A closer look at JimmyJazz.com: Up-tempo sales

If JimmyJazz.com's online sales over the past two years were jazz melodies, they would be swinging and jive-worthy.

If JimmyJazz.com's online sales over the past two years were jazz melodies, they would be swinging and jive-worthy.

The urban-style clothing, hats and shoes store and web retailer grew its online sales in 2012 to $26.3 million from $14.5 million in 2011. That 81.4% growth was enough to move Jimmy Jazz from No. 511 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Second 500 Guide to No. 430 in the 2013 Top 500 Guide. The growth also secured the retailer's position as the fifth-fastest growing web retailer in this year's Top 500 Guide.

The web sales growth is not new. It comes on the heels of even stronger growth in 2011. That year, Jimmy Jazz's second full year of operation, the retailer grew web sales 253.7% from $4.1 million to $14.5 million.

"JimmyJazz.com experienced phenomenal growth last year thanks to new sales channels and marketing strategies," says David Wachter, executive vice president and general manager of e-commerce and digital marketing for Jimmy Jazz. "We were impressed with our new marketplace and retargeting channels, had a strong focus on being customer-centric toward an omnichannel strategy, and improved greatly in our efforts to reduce the cart abandonment rate."

A new ad service from web marketing vendor FetchBack, a business unit of eBay Inc.'s GSI Commerce Inc., shows consumers online ads for products they looked at on JimmyJazz.com but did not buy. That process, called retargeting, accounted for 7% to 10% of the retailer's 2012 online sales growth.

Jimmy Jazz also began sending a series of e-mails to shoppers who placed items in their carts and then left the site without buying. The first e-mail, sent the day after a shopper abandons her cart, reminds the shopper she left items in her basket and encourages her to come back and complete her purchase. The second message, one week later, offers a discount, and the third, the following week, presents a steeper discount. The second e-mail is most effective at getting shoppers to come back and buy, according to company statistics. The e-mail campaign overall prompted 5% to 7% of consumers who had abandoned their carts to come back and complete their orders last year.

Spot buys also fueled sales. Buying excess end-of-season inventory allows the retailer to acquire merchandise at deep discounts that it then passes on to shoppers. Jimmy Jazz also began selling last year on marketplaces operated by eBay and Amazon.com Inc. It makes the vast majority of its product catalog available to shoppers on those sites, save for a couple of brands that do not allow the retailer to sell its goods via those marketplaces. Marketplace sales accounted for 15% of Jimmy Jazz's total online sales last year.



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