The Benefits of Offering Group Discounts

by G.B. Oliver

One of the best ways to get volume orders, as well as repeat business, is to offer discounts to various groups. Here are what some top online retailers offer, that maybe you can apply to your own business.

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Group DiscountsC Wonder is an online store that sells women’s fashion, accessories and home decor. They have a Group Gifting Program, which means you can apply for special discounts (up to 20%) if you are shopping for the office, PTA or just a large number of people. It is a great way to get your products in front of a new audience because you have one buyer purchasing for many people. 

Trade Discounts Anthropologie has a House & Home Trade program whereby all qualified architects, interior designers and decorating professionals can apply for membership in this group to receive 15% off all regular and sale priced merchandise. West Elm, World Market and Restoration Hardware have similar programs. The trades typically expect discounts, and this ends up acting as both a referral and an endorsement.

Professional Discounts – Beauty companies such as Mac and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics also offers discounts to professional make-up artists, much in the same vein as the trade discounts above.

Student DiscountsAsos is a very popular UK clothing store, and they offer all students (with ID proof) 10% off all items. This offer is smart because they serve a younger demographic and, for this age group, even 10% can be a big deal. Plus, they will tell all their friends. Other stores offering student discounts include TopShop and Banana Republic. 

Teacher Discounts J.Crew recognizes the hard work of teachers and offers them 15% off in their stores, as does The Limited and Ann Taylor. This is a philanthropic gesture as much as a business decision.

So what groups could you offer a discount to that would help increase repeat business, spread word of mouth and expand your market?

If you sell jewelry, offer discounts for bridal parties. If you sell wedding invitations, offer discounts to wedding planners, If you sell pet products, offer discounts to dog trainers and groomers. If you sell toys, offer discounts to registered daycare centers or grandparents. If you sell art, offer discounts to hotels and office buildings. You can set minimum requirements on quantities, if that makes it more reasonable, but, at very least, even a small discount may be the reason someone chooses you over your competition.

G.B._OliverNeed Help Marketing Your Online Business? 

I offer a variety of affordable marketing services. Just contact me at attentiongetting@gmail.com or use the contact form below. Also, check out my Ebook Shop for more marketing advice.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Do You Have a Product That Will Get Attention?

by G.B. Oliver

The other day I was advising a shop called Escena, that sells Jewelry online, and looking through their selection one item really stood out to me. They had a pair of earrings called 50 Shades of Grey Dangle Earrings. Immediately I thought, this is your money maker. While the other jewelry items are beautiful, this is the one that will get attention.

50 Shades of Grey Earrings from Escena on Etsy

Why?

One, because it relates to something really popular in the news right now, the book, 50 Shades of Grey (1 million+ Google searches a month).

Two, because it is a sexy product that all the upcoming Valentine’s gift guides will be looking for (you should be submitting to these now, by the way).

Three, what husband wouldn’t buy this for his wife who has read the book?

Four, what woman wouldn’t buy this as a tongue-in-cheek gift for all her girlfriends who have read the book?

Fifth, what fashion blog wouldn’t show it as a homage to all the fashion being inspired by the book?

In other words, it provides a ton of opportunities for PR and sales that will bring people to the shop.

Every shop needs that one product that the content-starved media is looking for. The conversation starter, the image that will gets tons of REPINs, the product a majority of people can currently relate to in some way.

Now maybe your shop doesn’t have a product like this and you don’t want to change the focus of your product line just to include some one-off for publicity’s sake. That’s understandable, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent offering. It can be something you just offer as a special or for a limited time, or as a promotional item given free with the purchase of another item. However you want to spin it, the fact is that products that are clever or quirky or on trend with what everyone is talking about will always get publicity.

The benefit is you are pulling the curiosity seekers into your shop or website. Hopefully they will look around at your other items and not just this one. It is a hook and it works!

If you can’t figure out which one of your products will get attention, feel free to get in touch. I do consult! Also, if you want more of my marketing advice (I save the best stuff for my Ebooks) that will help increase the sales of your online shop, please see my Ebook shop for my PDFs, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!

Is Fab the New Model for Online Marketplaces?

by G.B. Oliver

Have you checked out Fab.com yet? Fab is the latest entry in the online marketplace selling designers’ and artisans’ work. They have been incredibly successful and in the past year have grown from 1.5 million members to now over 7.5 million (members = buyers) and they do things a little differently, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Fab sells products that are hand selected by their staff via submissions (anyone can submit). They offer up to 70% off retail prices on a variety of products including furniture, gadgets, home accessories, art, jewelry and so forth.

So, what does Fab bring to the table that the other marketplaces don’t?

1. Fab is more more hands-on. As mentioned, they have a team that hand selects the items that make it onto the site, so there is quality control.

2. They write the clever and witty copy that accompanies each product because vendors don’t always know how to market their products in the best light (hence the need for ebooks like mine), and it maintains a consistency across the vendors.

3. While the designer/shop is mentioned by name, there is no link to the seller’s shop (you stay on Fab). Also, there is no actual permanent shop on the site for a vendor, but they will group their items together in a “storefront” window for as long as their sale lasts.

So it is kind of like a One Kings Lane meets Etsy.

4. Fab’s “Feed” is interesting as well. This is how you search. A random search of products is displayed, but you can search by popularity, price, category and color. You can also add comments to products that show up right on the search page, similar to how you see Pinterest comments.

5. Fab integrates social media really well.  If you “Like”, “Tweet” “Pin” or “Tumble” their products you earn Fab points to be used towards future purchases. Great incentive for people to do so. They also have a mobile app so you can get their daily inspirations on the go (30% of their orders are via mobile).

6. Fab also sends lots of emails, typically four a day in your mailbox, as each day there are new sales starting at 11 am EST. So they really work hard to promote ALL the products on the site.

7. What is really refreshing about Fab is their sense of personality. They are quirky and fun and you can tell they look for products that are not only in this vein, but are also original, functional and well-designed. While other online marketplaces have worked to create community among their sellers, Fab uses this sense of personality to create community between itself, its sellers AND the customers, which I think is its strongest asset.

This is not your typical shopping experience. And that’s what makes it Fab!

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★  If you have an online shop, be sure to check out my new series of PDFs, entitled Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! where I give you all my best and latest marketing secrets that will make your shop a top seller in 2013! Editions for Jewelry & Fashion Accessories, Home Products, Kids & Baby Products and Wedding Products. Get your copy by email today!

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© 2012 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.