Cinsababe's: Increasing Sales in a Slow Economy
inNovember 16, 2010 - 5:39pm
Certainly increasing sales can be accomplished by increasing the traffic and customer base for your shop—ideas suggested in our blogs on going global and building a customer data base. But another way to boost sales is to increase the dollar amount that each customer spends in your shop through Cross Selling, Product Bundles, Volume Discounts and Value Added offers.
Cross Selling is simply the idea that if a customer loves the item they are already purchasing from you, chances are they will be interested in similar items. For instance, Sally has just submitted a purchase order for a fabulous Lisner thermoset necklace in shades of green. You can let her know that you have earrings that will go great with it or items you will be listing in a few days that are similar or other Lisner pieces. I have found that this works best in a separate email rather than as part of the usual Ruby Lane or Ruby Plaza confirmation of their purchase order--I think that sometimes customers simply delete these form emails without reading the detail. So just before I send off the total, I will send a short email suggesting other items if they are available, often offering a discount on those additional items: “Hi Sally, thanks for your purchase of this lovely Lisner necklace. I have earrings listed for $16 that would look great with it. If you are interested, I could let you have them for $12! Here is the link.” Always provide the link so that it is easy for your customer to take a quick look.
Product Bundles are a popular marketing tool at the large media stores like Best Buy. We always see ads for a “free printer with purchase of computer “or significant savings on a complete home entertainment system. You can easily use the same principle when listing your items. For instance if you have a bracelet, necklace and earrings from a Sarah Coventry set listed separately in your shop, be sure to add a paragraph in your listing letting your customers know that those other pieces are available—and offer a discount if all are purchased. This could also be done with chinaware pieces, silverware, chairs, linens or anything where you would have a variety of matching or complimentary pieces.
Volume Discounts can greatly increase sales. Recently a customer purchased two of eight newly listed Whiting & Davis purses. I emailed her and offered free shipping for the entire purchase if she purchased one more, which she immediately did, adding $40 to the sale. It was well worth the $5 I spent on the flat rate envelope. I usually offer this when a customer has already purchased several items, again, in a separate email before I send the total. I have used this method to increase sales in our new Ruby Plaza shop as well. Earlier today, a customer purchased three items in Cinsababe’s on Ruby Lane. I emailed to let her know about our shop Quindy’s, on Ruby Plaza. I included a link and told her if there were items she liked there, I would give a 40% discount if she purchased today. She bought an additional six items in Quindy’s increasing the sale 120%. We often run “Buy One Get One Free” sales, advertising on our home page and on Ruby Lane’s Facebook page, as well as, emailing our regular customers.
The Value Added concept is simply adding a desired value or service if the customer increases their purchase. For instance you could offer free gift wrap if two or more items are purchased or free shipping over $50 or a free upgrade to Priority mail if 3 or more items are purchased—you get the idea.
So put on your thinking cap—you know your inventory and you know your customers. Be creative in thinking of ways to increase each individual sale—your customers will appreciate your discounts and extra services and you will enjoy the added benefit of increased sales.
Cindy Brown of Cinsababe’s on Ruby Lane