November 30, 2012, 10:02 AM Sweet smell of success

The merchant conveys fragrance online through the words of customers who’ve already smelled the scent.

Lead Photo succeeds at selling scented products online by combining a prize and more than 6,000 customer reviews. The prize is a ring worth at least $10 embedded in each candle the online retailer sells. The ring is a nice perk, but people buy candles for the fragrance, says Justin Winter, CEO. And the only way to convey fragrance online is through the words of customers who’ve already bought and smelled the scent. “The primary factor for the purchase decision is the actual fragrance,” Winter says. “The more feedback that a large number of people can provide about a fragrance, the more helpful it is for others.” The concept is paying off: the e-retailer had $1 million in revenue for its first 12 months, beginning in 2011, Winter says, and it expects to top $10 million in its second full year.

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