E-Commerce · Beauty

What's the best way to stimulate online sales?

Tanya Wright Crystal Burset on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and creator of HAIRiette of HARLEM hairiette.com

February 11th, 2016

I'm an actress on a popular TV show and I've recently created my own haircare line, HAIRiette! We've launched at Whole Foods and in 22 other retail outlets; however, I am pretty certain that real success lies in the online arena (my ultimate goal is to be a one-stop, digital haircare Company). My strength lies in haircare products and creating content (I wrote a book and web series all related to the brand) NOT things of a "tech" nature. I am really stumped as to what direction to take (two points: I recently got accepted to Google Accelerator and have tried --unsuccessfully, to get my products on Amazon.com). I know this is a wide ranging question; read a lot of threads in the past and this seems like a pretty smart group. Any ideas? I'm open to pretty much anything and everything.  Thanks so much!!
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Tanya Wright Crystal Burset on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and creator of HAIRiette of HARLEM hairiette.com

February 11th, 2016

Farzad: yes, yes!!! I reviewed each of your suggestions above (great info!) and you are exactly right. What's becoming increasingly clear to me is that I will likely need a co-founder to co-create an overall strategy for hairiette.com and IMPLEMENT it. I have been a one-man band since I launched (a little under a year ago). There are more little pieces here than you can count (marketing, working with retailers, customers, the lab, etc.) and it has officially gotten too much for one person to handle (did I mention I was an actress with a whole other career and its own myriad of countless bits and pieces?? LOL!). Not an unusual part of any business growth but, for the first time since I launched, I feel…a bit overwhelmed.  Though it's coupled with excitement, it's still an uncomfortable feeling because the HOW of it all is looming large...

Janet Fouts CEO, Social Media Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Best-selling Author

February 11th, 2016

Tanya,
Social can do so much to get you the visibility you need. Think about doing 1 minute hair are tips and sharing on multiple platforms with a shorter version on Instagram. Fill your Instagram feed with awesome photos from users. Reach out to some stylists to use your products on real people then do photos. Visuals. 

G AL-IMRAN Digital Manager at Leverson Brooke | Head Hunter

February 11th, 2016

Hi Tanya,
You can chat directly with amazon support, last time i had some problem with amazon and fixed that through live chat. Give a try they are helpful. :)
Anyway all the best. Let me know what else i can help you with.
--
Imran

Anonymous

February 12th, 2016

Tanya, I can relate :) my background is in film & TV as well. I understand that it's not easy, and my hats off to you for such significant accomplishment with Hairiette.

In 2013, Strategy& did a survey of 700 executives/leaders and found out that only 8% were good at both strategy and execution. So don't feel bad.
You're already on the solid track of spending your time on business strategy and life, and then delegating the rest. 

Rob G

February 12th, 2016

Tanya, certainly celebrity endorsements have launched many successful products.  In your line of business that is perhaps an avenue you have greater access to than most startups.  work that angle.  here's a link to a video shot at the UpFront Ventures summit this month  -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wY75jg0I1vU
The panelists know their stuff and a discussion with any of them, especially Tristan Walker or Magic Johnson, would be more than worthwhile. Mark Suster at BothSidesOfTheTable and a partner at UpFront Ventures ran the summit. http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/   good luck! 

G AL-IMRAN Digital Manager at Leverson Brooke | Head Hunter

February 11th, 2016

What kind of food items you tried to listed in amazon.com? To get approved from the amazon you need to follow certain steps:
1.You must be registered as a seller on the Professional Selling plan.
2.All foods and beverages must be properly prepared, sealed, packaged, and labeled.
3.Sellers must also understand they are responsible for ensuring their products and business operationscomply with all applicable federal and state laws, even if not specifically described in our policies.

4. All Grocery & Gourmet Food products must be listed using the manufacturer's UPC code. For moreinformation on UPC requirements, see Product UPCs and GTINs. If you do not have UPCs,review Amazon Brand Registry information for how to list products without UPCs.

5. All Grocery & Gourmet Food products must be sold in New condition. Used listings are not permitted.For more information, see the Condition Guidelines.

6. All Grocery products must include product labeling in English that complies with applicable federal,state and local laws. Additional information on the FDA's labeling requirements for food products isavailable here: Food:Labeling and Nutrition.
Here is just a few there is around 25~30 rules.

Thanks.

Paul Gibbins Co-founder at Twyla

February 11th, 2016

Hi Tanya

I've spent large parts of my career working on optimisation of usability for e-commerce websites.

While it's definitely a great idea to be selling your product through as many channels as possible, I recommend you invest some time and money in optimising the user experience of your site, especially the checkout process.

For one example, I added a product to my cart and saw a little floating basket/checkout button appear at the top of the page but when I scrolled up it disappeared.  It was confusing and I had to go back to the home page to access my basket again.

Online shoppers are in a temporal phone box.  People don't have a lot of patience so there's a very fine line between a bounce and a conversion.

Happy to give you some more advice if you want.  paul <at> sandtonian <dot> info

- P

Anonymous

February 11th, 2016

Tanya, 

Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss these further, I'd be more than happy to help. Your product is great and very promising. 

So, here is what I think:

Great products, great content, a good website (although could use improvements - see below), and social media channels. However, what's lacking is "strategy". 
Many things mentioned on this discussion chain (from SEO to Inbound, etc.) are all good & great advice, but please keep in mind that those are tools not necessarily strategy.

Perhaps there already is one, but I couldn't see it from the website and social links. 

To get started, think about these questions: 
1- What is the target? (is it consumers or salons or grocery shops?). Remember, don't target all from the beginning, that will drain resources and thin out the results. Also, try to localize the initial campaign by securing a "beachhead" (see link below). 

2- What is the clear defined objective? (Example: sell 50 Simple Soapless Systems per month out of 1000 e-mail subscribers in NYC)

3- What strategies will you use to reach the objectives? (Example: will attend trade shows, reach out to Whole Foods, sign up people to receive e-newsletters, etc.) 

4- What technology will you use to achieve the above? (SEO, Website, Twitter, Analytics, and their details)

Now, with the website, it needs some fixing: 
1- When I clicked "Buy", it went to another image. 
2- Buying should be more prominent on the first page (similar to all other retailers such as Macy's, Amazon, etc.)
3- Avoid what could be "distractions": anything  that distracts website visitors from clicking the "buy" button. That would be external or unrelated links & images that are more prominent than the products. Note that when Macy's links on their website are related to shopping and making visitors spend. 

Some useful links: 



I hope that this helped
- Farzad

Tanya Wright Crystal Burset on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and creator of HAIRiette of HARLEM hairiette.com

February 11th, 2016

Hi, Carey! Seems simple enough (re: amazon.com), right? Yeah, I thought so too: until Amazon continued to reject every piece of documentation I sent. They are asking that the products be listed with the FDA (which is NOT a requirement to sell haircare products and is also a very expensive and lengthy process) and to have the products tested by a third party (also expensive). I like the idea of connecting with salons very much--also, bloggers (working on that). Thanks for chiming in!!

Tanya Wright Crystal Burset on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and creator of HAIRiette of HARLEM hairiette.com

February 11th, 2016

…and I WILL do everything that everyone here has so generously suggested! THANK YOU!!!