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Thursday, June 30, 2005

I was talking to a friend who runs http://www.bestdressedsoaps.com/ They have some terrific soaps, with cute themes. They need to figure out how to sell them online. So far, there haven't been great results with straightforward online advertising. Not many people, it appears, are actively looking to buy soap online.
I think there's an opportunity to refocus their online appeal.First, is the site itself. There are some suggestions that they make great birthday party favors or thank you gifts. They could add gift packages of soap, something like 15 bars of assorted soap for $50. That would also probably increase the size of the average order.
I'd also look at some niche marketing. The first would be affiliate marketing. Sites like Commission Junction and others allow you to provide a referral fee to another site that sends someone to your site, and orders. You only pay for results. They have a network of thousands of sites, and those sites can take a look at what you're offering (10% commission, for example) and decide to add it to their site. They then do the publicizing, and you pay only when the desired result happens.
Secondly, there's an interest for targeting affinity groups. Just as MBNA has a credit card for every conceivable group possible (Tennessee Women's Rugby?), there could be niche soaps. Soap with $ signs on it for investment bankers at the holidays. Trumpets for the musically inclined. Pets for the golden retriever crowd. AdBrite and Blogads offer this type of focus. Here's an example for football.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BDS site has a great feature of breaking products into categories, such as sports and pets. That could be leveraged by running it across the top of the page so all the options are visible without scrolling. Make the top banner smaller and add more products. The flower and sandal soaps tell me they are selling to women, and myself being a guy I am going to zip on to another site without looking deeper. Show more product diversity and uniqueness.

Add banner (including Google's), affiliate, and affinity marketing are great ideas. Anything where you pay for an ad being successful is sound business sense. Old-fashioned approaches work as well. Give out some soap at fairs and trade shows, making sure the company URL is embossed on the soap.

And how about product innovation? How about pet soap that you can use when bathing your dog? I’m not a chemical engineer, but it has to be possible. Or how about custom soap, say my company or event logo? I can see a politician handing out bars as they run a “clean” campaign.

1:15 PM  

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