In September 2020, I launched the presale of Biohac blue light blocking glasses. This was the first time I used such a sales model and made a few mistakes that you can avoid thanks to this article. What are these mistakes? What did they result in and did I repair the damage they caused?
Advance sale on Allegro and customer claims
Not everyone knows that it is possible to pre-order items on this well-known auction platform. Probably if I had never exhibited objects there, I might not have been aware of it myself. Ignorance resulted in discontent and demanding clients. Fortunately, these are just two negative comments, a few discussions, e-mails and phone calls. With a larger scale, the response could be much greater, and each e-mail or phone call takes our precious time.
It turned out that not all buyers looked at the shipping time, which said: „Pre-sale Shipping from Nov. 1”.
How could this be remedied? The two easiest ways are:
- Informing buyers in the first e-mail or SMS about the mode in which the order will be processed. I didn’t, and every buyer got a plain purchase message.
I found a good example of informing me during my last purchase at the 3DOM bookstore. I had the pleasure to pre-purchase Sławomir Mentzen’s „XD Philosophy” there. In the first message I was informed that this is a presale. If it happened that I did not notice it on the website, I had a second chance to receive this information.
- Duplicate shipping time information in the product description. By duplicating such information, we increase the chance that it will reach the buyer. We do not want to withhold this information, because the buyer unaware of the shipping time will be dissatisfied and the product will probably return. Transparency in e-commerce is extremely important.
When and how many pieces of the product to order?
My main pre-sales goals were to explore the product’s potential and gain feedback. Therefore, the second mistake was to allow buyers to make wholesale orders without proper preparation . I sold 20 pieces from a lot in bulk. Why so little? My assumptions were only for individual clients. I did not have a large enough assortment to satisfy wholesale customers, so I cut short conversations, and I allowed one of my customers to order only 20 pieces, so that there was something left in my warehouse.
The volume and time of the order are important for pre-sale. This does not apply to virtual products, but we must remember about it with physical products. I ordered too little and too late. Viral time promotes production and logistics delays. Estimation turned out to be problematic. I intensified my marketing activities over time. It would be better to start out loud and then slow down and cut your advertising budget. Then, at the very beginning, I could estimate the scale of orders, and if it would exceed my capabilities, marketing activities should be limited.
Deliver what you promised, and beware of distraction
The final product was slightly different from the photos. The logo, applied in the graphics program, on the product was placed higher by the factory. Microfiber cloths are supplied in black instead of purple.
Is it a matter of factory error? No, it’s my distraction .
Pre-ordering the product, I did not think about the included accessories. When I bought my glasses sample, I didn’t order a bamboo case, pouch, or even a microfiber cloth. I didn’t have them for my photos, so I used the graphics provided by the factory, and I applied the logos in a well-known graphics program. The purple cloth matched the branding, but the factory ran out of it (it was only black). Fortunately, no one was making a problem for this reason. I wonder if anyone noticed this fact. Let me know if you are my customer and you just found out about it 🙂
Have I repaired the damage done?
A few lost hours thanks to which I received invaluable lessons – this is how the story can be summed up. Each of my clients received an additional free of charge for the order for a week’s shipping delay. In addition, recently I have been adding pencils with plant seeds (if you are interested in what I am talking about – please visit cociekawe.pl ).
I addressed each of the discussions in person, by e-mail or by phone. I treat other clients as I would like to be treated myself. When running an online store, let’s take care of our customers and try to put ourselves in their place. Think how would you feel if you hadn’t received your order for a month without knowing that you used the pre-sale? I myself would be afraid that I might have made a purchase on a fake website and lost money. Therefore, when an oversight occurs, inform the client about it without waiting for his guesswork.
Thanks to the professional approach, the new product collects positive opinions on my store platform from the first deliveries.