Saturday, July 12, 2008

Is it possible to launch a successful "internet only" perfume brand?

A great deal of perfume is sold over the internet. I've purchased a fair amount myself. There's eBay for "hard to find" fragrances plus a half dozen or more major retails who offer far more fragrances than you can find at your local mall.

These sales take place because the buyer is LOOKING for a particular fragrance and, going to the internet, can find a convenient, affordable source.

But what about the UNKNOWN perfumers who is creaeting new fragrances under his or her own (UNKNOWN!) brand name? Can the internet provide him or her with a viable sales outlet?

Setting up a website costs a tiny fraction of what it would cost to set up a single retail store. But setting up a website can easily cost MORE than what it would cost you to sell, face-to-face, out of your garage or home.

The internet has the POTENTIAL to reach a huge audience. But this is only a POTENTIAL. A very large number of websites draw NO VISITORS AT ALL. Having a website is NOT the same as having a BUSINESS. To have a BUSINESS on the internet you must be able to generate SALES. How many times have you seen a new business set up in your neighborhood, open with great fanfare, then close in a matter of months -- because they could not generate sales? The internet is no different.

To launch your unknown perfume brand on the internet you need to (1) draw qualified prospects to your website and (2) convert enough of these prospects into cash buyers to make your "internet-only" perfume brand profitable.

In short, you need the same two elements you would need to operate a retail store -- or chain of stores -- or any other successful distribution network for your perfume.

With the internet, the real question is, "How can I do it?"

Some hints at a solution

STEP # 1

Your first step in developing your website to sell your unknown perfume will be to build up your own reputation among people with an interest in TRYING and USING "unknown" fragrances. The person who will buy only well known brands is NOT going to become your customer. The person who buys only what is "fashionable" is NOT going to become your customer (unless you can find a way to make yourself or your perfume "fashionable" -- which is DIFFICULT.)

Your best prospect will be someone with an interest in FRAGRANCE (not BRAND NAMES!), has enough curiosity to seek out oddball fragrances (like yours!) and enough "mad money" to buy at least a small bottle, to give your fragrance a try.

How do you attract these potential customers to your website? Certainly NOT by simply showing a bottle of your perfume and its price. be continued.

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