October 20, 2010, 12:29 PM

Online beauty goods retailer Thymes hopes consumers’ stories increase sales

Thymes’ holiday promotion seeks personal recollection from shoppers.

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Personal stories from consumers can lead to increased web site traffic and sales—that’s the hope of online beauty, bath and home fragrance retailer Thymes LLC as it heads into the holiday season.

A year ago the retailer integrated onto its e-commerce site technology from Bazaarvoice that enables consumers to write and read ratings and reviews for products sold on Thymes.com. Then, for Mother’s Day, the retailer went further:  It solicited from shoppers personal experiences about the holiday, says Janelle DenBleyker, Thymes’ web producer.

The retailer posed on its e-commerce site a question asking shoppers for their personal experiences involving Mother’s Day. “We asked consumers what things they had gotten from their mothers—like a personal trait even—just little things that make them know they are their mother’s child,” she says.

The Mother’s Day question attracted 300 answers, DenBleyker says, though she had no details about whether the answers directly led to more sales. Still, Thymes plans to repeat the promotion for the holiday shopping season by asking a question designed to encourage shoppers to share holiday memories and stories. At the least, she says, the promotion will result in more web site traffic.

The retailer plans to offer a prize—a gift basket or a shopping spree—for the best answer. Shoppers will determine the winner,  voting by pressing buttons embedded on the site via Bazaarvoice technology, she says. Shoppers also can spread word of the promotion and share stories through Facebook, she adds.

The promotion will kick off in the middle of November, she says.

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