February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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88 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 Free shipping is always based on the most economical method. It may take some pricing trial and error to figure out the most profitable yet attractive price for this to work, but once you've done a program like this for a period of time, you should have a good idea of what average shipping costs are going to be, which will allow you to come up with the right price. Of course, one factor that offsets the cost of shipping is that it requires the customer to order more. So, as the average order goes up, so do the profits that make it fi- nancially feasible. SPECIAL SALES Everyone loves a sale. In fact, most custom- ers are trained to wait for a sale before pur- chasing. Even so, there are ways to struc- ture sales so that you boost profits without losing margin. One strategy is to liquidate slow-moving inventory. After a certain period of time, if merchandise is not selling, your best course of action is to cut your losses and price it to move. This allows you to get rid of ex- cess inventory and free up space for better- selling items. Another strategy is to deliberately pur- chase products that you find a good deal on. For instance, maybe your suppliers are offering a screaming deal on merchandise they need to to move. You can put a trendy decoration on it and offer a special deal. Seasonal sales are another common method used to increase profits. Choose seasonal products that will be in high demand, but time it so you are ahead of the crowd. For example, tank tops, beach towels, and caps are always in demand during the summer. Try to be the first one on the block to offer great deals and get customers to spend their dollars with you. Events are another good theme to use when planning a sale. Events such as back to school, Christmas, graduation, and Mother's and Father's Day are common examples. No matter what type of sale you have, it is simply a means to an end; to use the sale to attract business. Once you have customers' attention, offer opportunities for add-on merchandise or upselling that allows you to make more money on the transaction. Sales should not be randomly held throughout the year. Ideally, you sit down at the start of the first quarter and create a marketing calendar. Look at your busiest and slowest times based on sales history. Look for holidays and local events you may want to capitalize on. With good planning, you can maximize the success of your sale INCREASE ONLINE SALES

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