One of the great things about having your own business is getting to know your customers. The best way to do this is to find out what they want. Then you have happy customers and more money in your pocket. A win/win! It requires a little leg-work and some research, but it really is the best way to keep your sales up.
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to this. What sells great in Houston, Texas might not sell that well in Milford, Pennsylvania for example. Different designers and pop stars are trending in different areas. Weather and temperatures make people want different kinds of scents (we will touch into this a little more later). If you do not have a website and are selling locally, this will affect you a little more than someone who ships products outside of their own town. Don’t fret if you do not have a website, you are still a member of your community and perhaps have even more opportunities for closer bonds with your customers. Here are some helpful tips:
- Visit your local Mall, Wal-Mart or any place with a Perfume counter. Engage the sales rep as if you are a customer shopping for your (brother, sister, mother-in-law, etc) ________ and are wondering what is popular for that age/gender group. Most sales reps love talking about fragrances and are willing to give this info freely.
- Ask your friends, family and co-workers what they like. This may seem obvious, but check with everyone you know even if you do not know them that well. You might just get another networking contact, a sale or a new friend. More often than not, each of your friends have a list of several “go-to” fragrances and scents they have sniffed in magazines and will give you many ideas in the process.
- The internet is your friend. Go to Google or your favorite search engine and type in “Top Fragrances 2014” for example and voila! You now have several articles to browse with different suggestions for you. You can be more or less specific in your search, depending on what you are looking for. Examples: “Top scents for women”, “Top scents for 20-somethings”
Location, Location, Location!
States that stay fairly warm year round will have different scent preferences than a cooler state. We like to wear different kinds of scents in the summer versus in the winter. Warmer temperatures tend to bring out lighter, more citrus scents while cooler temperatures tend to bring out heavier, more sultry scents. Have you ever tried to wear your favorite winter scent in the dead heat of summer? You’ll probably find it’s just a little too strong and doesn’t have the right kind of “mood” for the weather. Some helpful tips:
- Again, the internet is your friend. Go to your favorite search engine and type in “Best Winter Scents”, “Top Fall Fragrances” or “Best scents from Summer to Winter” and away you go!
- Keep in mind, various holidays will also bring out certain scents that you won’t see much of for the rest of the year. For example, around Christmas time you’ll see a lot of Frankincense, Myrhh, Cinnamon, and Gingerbread-like scents (Winter Cheer).
It’s no secret that everyone likes something new, and the same goes for fragrances. We all have a favorite designer, singer or celebrity and when they come out with a new fragrance, we want it! There are also designers that we have all known for years and they tend to be “tried and true”. Often times it is the name that sells a fragrance rather than the actual scent. Tips and Ideas:
- The internet is a huge tool here (again); keep up with your social media to see what celebrities/designers are trending right now. Google their names along with “fragrance” to see what pops up. We find www.fragrantica.com to be very helpful and informative. You can search a designer name and see all the fragrances made by that designer, the year it came out and the fragrance notes (if you are viewing a particular fragrance). This is also a good way to see if a designer is simply re-releasing an older fragrance under new packaging or if it is really a new, fresh scent.
- A few well known designers/celebrities to get you started:
Bond No. 9
Christian Audigier (Ed Hardy)
Jean Paul Gaultier
Yves Saint Laurent
Who is Buying?
One of the biggest things that can help you be successful here is to pay attention to the kind of customers you have. You can’t expect a 25 year old man to buy from you if you only have women’s fragrances. You won’t sell much to a 65 year old woman if you only have new fragrances that they have never heard of. What sells great to a young Spanish woman is not going to go as well with an older Caucasian woman and so on. So what can you do?
- If you’re selling in your area, simply take note of the majority of people you see. Age groups, ethnic backgrounds, genders, etc. If you have a store, watch who is coming in. If you have a pretty even mix all around, lucky you! You have more wiggle room to play with. If you have a clear cut type of people you know you’ll be selling to, lucky you too! This will make it easier to find out what is relevant with that particular group.
- If you’re selling online, great! This means your product should be getting seen by all age groups and ethnic backgrounds (as long as they use a computer of course). This also means you will need to have a pretty wide selection of different kinds of fragrances to fit everyone’s needs.
- Once you have an idea of who your potential customers will be, it will be easier to research for a particular group.
If you’re still with me!
After reading through this, you should have a better understanding and more ideas on where to start when it comes to carrying Body Oils. Some key advice to remember; It is always best to have a little bit of a fragrance everyone wants than too much of a fragrance no one wants. Order in small quantities at first while you are canvassing your customers and then order large quantities of YOUR top sellers. Once you start selling, it won’t take very long! Your customers will be asking you for various fragrances and it is important to listen to them.
While researching and gathering data for your customers please keep in mind: When a fragrance is released into stores, it takes several weeks to months for any manufacturer to reproduce it and get the formula correct. It is a costly investment to reproduce just one correctly, so sales in the stores are watched and requests are taken into careful consideration. This means that once it comes into stores, you won’t see it in Body Oil form for awhile. Just a little time, effort and patience goes a long way.