February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 F E B R U A R Y P R I N T W E A R || 89 and continue to fine-tune what you offer and when you offer it. Another option is a time-sensitive sale, designed to create an urgency that forces people to take action now, rather than later. Examples include Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Flash sales are another common strategy used by the largest online retailers. In this scenario, you might offer a discount for an arbitrary amount of time, such as an hour, a day, or a week. The time-sensitive strategy works espe- cially well on higher-end products such as jackets and branded apparel. Customers are more likely to jump at an opportunity to save money on a premium brand that has a higher perceived value than a value- priced one. VOLUME DISCOUNTS This technique works the same as setting a minimum order to qualify for free shipping. Customers are induced to add $50 more in merchandise to qualify for a 10 percent discount. You might offer a percentage dis- count for orders over so many dozen or for hitting a certain dollar amount. UPSELLING No matter how you get the customer's at- tention, you never want to miss a chance to upsell. Upselling can mean increasing the quantity, the quality, the level of per- sonalization, or special effects. For example, offer an opportunity to up- grade from the economy to the premium brand T-shirt for only $2 more, add col- ors to a screen printed design, add foil or rhinestones to a fashion T, add a name or a name drop under a design, offer a shirt with a special finish or treatment, or put a graphic in an additional location. The list goes on and on. The merchandising you do use on your website ideally makes visitors aware of all you offer. A good way to accomplish this is to have "featured" products or "special deals" on your home page. Whenever a visitor is on a product page, there should be suggested related products somewhere else on the page for consideration. While you do want to offer special in- centives, sales and packages, you do not want to try and implement all of these tips at once. Pick one that has the most appeal and see what happens. The goal is to increase profitability, not to give any- thing away. Make sure you strike a balance between whatever discounts you offer and your profit margin. Some techniques will work better than others. It's a trial-and-error process, but over time, you will see results if you are persistent and consistent. Opposite and below: Strategically planning sales throughout the year brings attention to your website and motivates customers to buy. Event sales such as back to school, graduation, or holidays provide a natural theme to help determine what to offer and when to offer it.

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