We sent out a letter (or email) to customers who signed up for our mailing list in last year’s warehouse sale. The only way onto the list was to be a customer last year. There were about 70 names on it as we didn’t start collecting addresses until late in the sale.
The letter offered a $10 voucher to give it wow! factor. Some staff freaked – what if the customer only bought $10 worth of products? Worse still what if they wanted change from the voucher? But I wanted wow!, so the only conditions were a two week window and no change.
We haven’t worked out the specific results of the promotion but the early results are pleasing and profitable. Remember we are focusing on clearance lines here.
The smallest purchase using a voucher was $12.00, and the customer offered to pay half. I thanked him for his offer and his support last year; asked for $2.00 and told him to tell his friends. The friends subsequently spent over $40.00. Other voucher users have spent hundreds of dollars. So our mailing list customers responded well.
We’ve also sent a mailing to regional primary school Parents and Friends groups and child-care centres. While only about 600 letters, these represent new customer categories for us. Basically they buy out of the box in our warehouse. Very dusty but fun, and the prices are peanuts. I have trouble with “prices slashed” – do customers really believe it? The cynic in me struggles to find authentic ways to express a genuine clearance sale.
Staffing is also challenging. Some customers want department store service, but at these prices it’s a place where you dig through and find your own bargain. Once a week I remind some staff member that we can’t help a customer for an hour to choose a $12 tablecloth. At the same time we smile, are friendly and help when we can – you never know when the $12 tablecloth will lead to a $1500 Mothers Day stall order. Plus we have an easy refund policy.
When customers are walking around with bundles of products in their hands we walk up and offer to put is behnd teh counter for them. That way they are free to shop some more.
Make it easy for customers to buy from us – that’s the mantra.