Online stores are becoming larger and more prevalent, threatening the bottom-line for many retailers. What can help pleasure product retailers — both online and in brick-and-mortar stores — shift their methods to increase sales and significance? Here are a few tips I’d like to share.
One wonderful byproduct of loyalty programs is that you gain access to specific information about your customers. While zip codes and demographics are helpful, many loyalty programs incorporate birth dates and purchase history.
Many stores are offering discounts and extras for their loyal customers. Most loyalty programs allow buyers to earn points that then translate into some type of reward. While discounts and free products are always appreciated by consumers, offering personalized shopping experiences, gift registries, and high levels of customer service also go far in showing clients their patronage is recognized.
Try something different: Create a special store event or an exclusive online workshop that is only available to customers who have accrued a minimum number of points.
One wonderful byproduct of loyalty programs is that you gain access to specific information about your customers. While zip codes and demographics are helpful, many loyalty programs incorporate birth dates and purchase history. Use this information to offer loyalty program customers curated kits filled with their specific zodiac-inspired products for their birthdays. Purchase history can be utilized to introduce customers to upsell and complementary items that they may not have known about.
Explore customization: If you have customers that only want products in a soft purple hue, gather items in that color into a personalized kit just for them. Keep baskets and bags on hand just for this and other types of customer customization possibilities.
Considering that the average online consumer loses interest after 15 seconds and that online customers will leave your site in less than 59 seconds, according to the Nielsen Norman Research Group, online retailers don’t have much time to engage a buyer. Many sites and stores overwhelm visitors with too many distractions or an overabundance of options. Try communicating your niche in a clear manner. Make your site and your store pleasing to the eye.
Create a call-to-action: On a website, within the first few seconds offer a discount code, preferably for signing up for an email list. In a store, create special days that fuel a customer’s imagination and create an opportunity for store associates to engage customers in interesting conversation. Perhaps Mondays are always 15 percent off in-store purchases, while Frisky Fridays have optional handcuffs and collars that customers can try on while they shop. Online and in-store daily giveaways (for percentage off or prizes) for email sign-ups can also impact marketing options and can extend the opportunity to make customers into loyal fans. Get creative!
Convey Your Expertise
When it comes to intimate pleasure, people want information and/or education. Become their trusted source. Most customers aren’t looking to just buy a product; they’re interested in discovering something new — a technique, a skill, a healthy lubricant option, a way to perform prostate massage, etc. Provide education for your staff and for your customers. Give consumers permission to explore their curiosity and desires.
Help me help you: Place a white board in your store where customers can note what they’re interested in learning about for in-store workshops. Online stores can provide downloadable pamphlets for sexual tips, positions and products on your radar. The better education you can provide to your customers, the more they will look to you and your staff to guide them on their sexual exploration journeys — and steer their purchases as well.
Emphasize Speed and Convenience
Many online shoppers prefer instant gratification. Brick-and-mortar stores can use this to their advantage — consider establishing a delivery service in your own town. Look into utilizing Postmates and other app delivery services to increase your local delivery area. Online stores might consider offering one-day or two-day delivery options for a small upgrade fee.
Convenience counts: Provide a complimentary giftwrapping service for store and online purchases. In many cultures wrapping is as important as the gift. A well-wrapped present sets the mood for a celebratory event and can make that gift more endearing.
In today’s evolving retail landscape, it’s important to be adaptable and try new things. Remember, not all consumers want to buy online; and not all consumers want to make store purchases. Offer the best customer experiences and the most unique buying opportunities for your target buyer within your niche. Differentiate yourself with your creativity. And, take comfort in the knowledge that our industry is based on intimacy — providing your customers with discreet care, insightful education and knowledgeable assistance will go a long way in winning loyal, repeat customers and continued success.
Sunny Rodgers is the brand manager for Pipedream Products, Jimmyjane and Sir Richards.