Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Posted by BKD Signature at 3:43 PM
I am very lucky to have my handmade beauty company Mojo Spa for over ten years and every year I found myself having a hard time dealing with the slow months of January, February, and March. One year I had an epiphany that changed the way I did business during these slow months.
First and foremost I asked myself how I could I get more traffic to my website during the slow months when people are not really shopping like they do during the holidays. The first idea that came to my head was to have a contest for the “best testimonial” where I would send out an email to my customers asking them to write testimonials on their favorite product and the best one would win a $100 gift certificate. This did three things for my business:
1.It got my good customers to my website which in turn might to a little shopping when writing their testimonial.
2.Writing the testimonial would remind my customers how much they love the products and remind them to tell their friends, family, or co-workers.
3.Allowed me to get valuable testimonials that new customers could read and appreciate how effective my products actually are.
Getting testimonials is a big driver for an on-line business because the customer cannot touch, smell, or try on the item for size. This can be a disadvantage therefore great pictures are always suggested time and time again. Testimonials allow new customers to feel part of the experience of the product by living vicariously through that person’s testimonial. I have even bought a product based on a testimonial because the details listed fit my needs.
The second idea was coming out with limited edition products that could only be purchased during the slow months. If customers knew that they would have to act fast because there are limited supplies then they would purchase those items and not wait. These limited edition products are always based on something that is important and valuable to my customer. For example, I launched a line of cake soaps in certain scents that were in limited supply. I took my bestselling cake soaps and created a mad dash for my customers to purchase because they were new scents that were in limited supply. I even told them the amount I made which was thirty so customers would further understand the urgency to buy if they liked the scent.
The third idea is with “bundling” products. This means that you sell certain products together that would work together or look good together. I have a Men’s line that I sell called Buddha and I bundle all the products together in my Buddha Skincare Kit at a discount to encourage people to buy all the products instead of just one product. If you sell hats, then you might want to bundle it with a scarf or fingerless gloves so you can sell more at a slight discount. You might want to bundle 2 necklaces that are similar in style at a discount instead of marking them down so you sell 2 necklaces instead of 1. You do not need to sell yourself short and have a huge sale in January where you slash prices to the point where you do not make money or make very little profit. We are not a big retailer that can afford to do it and customers buy from us because they appreciate the unique design and quality that comes with our products. Try bundling your items for a discount instead of running a huge sale and you will find that you can make more money and sell more products in the process.
My fourth idea is become interactive with different forums, blogs, sellers, and/or teams. The slow months is when I come out of my hibernation of the holiday chaos and reach out to my fellow artists to help promote each other. I visit blogs that I like and try to do giveaways that would fit my target market, post helpful information on forums for other fellow sellers to benefit from and perhaps spread the word about my shop, post on my blog about helpful information that my customer would like so they stay in touch with my business. This is a time too to join teams, make treasuries, write other sellers that you admire and create a dialog that would benefit you both. For example sending out an email about your new products and blurb about this seller and the seller does the same for you. The support network you find in other artists is amazing because they understand better than anyone what you are going through and therefore can relate to you.
So in basic terms, use this time to get more exposure for your business, get great feedback from your customer that you can use for new customers, bundle instead of huge sales, and utilize other artists so you can help each other.