Despite the economic downturn and a slow January, fragrance retailer Scentiments.com posted year-to-year sales increases of 20% for Valentine’s Day and a double-digit increase in March, CEO Howard Wyner says. He attributes the increases to a comprehensive marketing program ranging from a new shipping promotion to a growing presence on social networks.
“I had been projecting double-digit declines this year,” Wyner says. “But we keep finding ways to better connect with our customers and keep them coming back.”
In February and March, for example, Scentiments offered free shipping on orders of $75 or more, and in March conducted special March Madness sales, borrowing the nickname of last month’s annual national college basketball tournament.
Scentiments is also getting more traction with consumers through its growing presence on social networks, Wyner says. A year ago, it provided links from each of its approximately 8,000 online products to several social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Delicious, Digg and BuzzUp, where Scentiments shoppers can post information about favorite products on their personal pages.
The product pages also let shoppers click a link to e-mail their friends, an option that so far has proved more popular among shoppers than the links to social networks, Wyner says. But though he wasn’t yet able to identify any increase in traffic or sales from these social network links, Wyner recently expanded his social networking strategy with Scentiments.com’s own pages on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and has begun to more closely link his social networking strategy with more traditional online marketing.
“The more social you become online, the more popular you become,” he says.
Scentiments.com is now mentioning its new Twitter and Facebook pages in marketing and order confirmation e-mails to customers, letting them know, for instance, that they can find exclusive deals there. Customers who visit the retailer’s Twitter and Facebook pages will see special product offers coded so that Scentiments can track any sales to each network page.
In addition, Scentiments operates a blog at Scentimentscom.blogspot.com, and is developing additional blogs that will feature particular types of content such as consumer-generated product reviews and news about the fragrance market.
The retailer, No. 376 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is also expanding on more traditional promotions. Last week, for example, it launched a “Super Saver” shipping offer that ships any order for $3.99 without promising a specific delivery date. Its usual fee for basic UPS ground shipping is $5.99. “So far, more than 80% of shoppers are taking the Super Saver option,” Wyner says.
Scentiments, based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, also operates two physical stores in southern Florida.