The Value of a Ruby Lane Customer Registry
inJune 16, 2011 - 5:12pm
Many years ago, when I was a cosmetics sales lady in a major department store, I learned the value of a comprehensive customer registry. It was a very handy tool for successful selling. Put simply, a customer registry is a database of the names of all your customers, their email addresses and phone numbers, and the items they have asked about or purchased. In the time that I have been selling on Ruby lane, I have learned that there is a significant difference between the personal relationship between a beauty advisor and her best clients, and the often-impersonal dealings between an online seller and her usually faceless customers. However, by using a customer registry, the Internet seller can enhance the online relationship and thus improve sales.
As soon as I have completed a Ruby Lane sale, I compile a record of the transaction and keep details of any emails between the customer and myself. I try to write a brief note on the enclosed invoice when I ship the product, encouraging the client to let me know when the item has arrived, its condition upon arrival, and whether the client is a collector of that type of item. I usually receive a reply that helps me gain a mental image of that client, and his or her interests.
When I am about to list a new item on Ruby Lane, I scan my registry to see if a prior customer would appreciate knowing about it. For example, newly listed refrigerator dishes and kitchen items might match items previously acquired by my customers. I will send them a brief email, saying that it has just been listed, so that they can order it before someone else ‘grabs’ it. I encourage my customers to phone or email me with comments and questions and they do! We all enjoy the chats. Having loyal repeat customers is a real plus.
I recently listed a Snoopy music box which sold within a matter of hours at a reduced price, and I have since been contacted by potential customers who missed out on the sale and now wish to be phoned or emailed regarding any ‘Snoopyania’ that I may list in future. Those customers are serious collectors and are less likely to bargain when a rare item appears.
Ruby Lane does an excellent job of keeping track of our sales, the items listed, and any featured items. But there are many software applications that can add to our record keeping. I use Bento on my Mac, and I understand that there are several Windows applications that are also helpful. With this software, I can keep track of items that are popular and the price point customers are looking for. I can record when an item was listed, where I bought the item, the price I paid, and the number of days it was listed until sold. I have the photos of the items and their description. I can refer to this after the items are sold and therefore no longer on the Ruby Lane site.
Ruby Lane has the ‘Subscribe to Your Shop’ feature, where customers can sign up for emails. But while fancy software is good, it is even better to personalize the relationship with your customers. By putting a ‘thank you’ note in the package along with some business cards, the satisfied customers can refer friends to your shop. Try to reward repeating customers by letting them be the first to buy new items, adding an extra free item to their box, or offering a discount on their next purchase.
By getting to know our customers and finding the sort of items they seek, we are driving the sales on Ruby Lane and creating a base of loyal customers.