September 24, 2002, 12:00 AM

How a candle retailer uses the web to make sense of its scents demand

Illuminations three weeks ago launched a Classic Scents section of its web site where customers can register their preferences for scents that the company has discontinued. Response has already exceeded expectations, the company says.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

The web is helping put some science into the art of determining which candle fragrances to stock at Illuminations.com Inc. Candle and accessories retailer Illuminations three weeks ago launched a Classic Scents section of its web site where customers can register their preferences for scents that the company has discontinued. Once enough customers have registered for a certain scent, Illuminations will schedule a small run of candles with that scent, then send an e-mail message to customers telling them the scent is once again available, Clay Lingo, director of direct channel sales and operations, tells InternetRetailer.com.

While the program is too new to measure results, Lingo says the company has high hopes. “Quite a few people have given us their e-mail addresses already,” he says. “Just by the amount of e-mail we’ve gotten in the past asking us what happened to this fragrance or that fragrance, we’re expecting it to be a good program.” Lingo expects Illuminations to do its first revival run of scented candles in the first quarter.

Illuminations operates 84 stores and mails several million catalogs a year, in addition to operating a web site, which it launched in late 1998. This sort of service would not have been possible without the web to aggregate demand across the customer base, Lingo says.

 

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