Ecommerce now accounts for 34% of all orders at N Brown
, up 38% on a year ago, the company has revealed in its annual accounts for the year to 28 February 2009.
"Our multi-channel strategy, targeting our customers with products that fit their individual needs, together with excellent service and delivery options, will remain the cornerstone of our strategy in the future and help to ensure resilience to these economic conditions that are likely to prevail into 2010," says the annual report.
"Ecommerce offers significant opportunities as customers increasingly become accustomed to using the internet as an ordering channel. A key benefit we gain is that average order values online are over 25% higher than for orders though other channels, driven by wider ranges available on our websites and the ease of searching and browsing the entire offering," it continues.
"In addition, costs to serve customers online are lower than by telephone, and we see a higher level of repeat orders. During the year we have continued to invest significantly in our websites' presentation and functionality, contributing to an increase in online sales of 38% to £225m, now accounting for 34% of our total sales compared with 28% a year ago. This varies by title, and we see our highest uptake on our younger titles, although strong growth is coming from all age groups."
"Our websites now offer new features and regular updates that encourage our customers to shop on them for longer and more frequently. Style tips, catwalk videos, online exclusives, fully guided navigation and innovative email marketing campaigns are just some of the measures that have been implemented."
Overall, sales were up 10.7% to £662.5m, giving the 34% of online sales a value of £225m, and operating profits were up 6.2% to £95.5m on a like-for-like basis. Operating margin fell from 15.0% to 14.4%.