From the March 2007 issue of our newsletter, Let's Grow. For a FREE subscription, CLICK HERE.

Using Shipping Notices to Boost Sales

If you’re shipping live plants, a small procedural change could bring a significant boost in sales.

Companies selling live plants routinely delay shipping until planting conditions are right. An order acknowledgement is sent when the order is placed, and what happens next varies. Some companies tell customers exactly which week they intend to ship – which the customer may or may not remember when the time comes. Most don’t mention shipping dates until they send a notice saying “your order just shipped.”

Why not contact customers the week before you plan to ship? That does three things: 1) It gives customers time to prepare their garden and make room in their schedules to plant. 2) It gives them an opportunity to change the ship date if it’s not convenient. 3) Best of all, it gives you an opportunity to upsell.

Email customers a week before your intended ship date and while you’re at it, suggest they add some fertilizer to their order. Send them to a “private sale” page on your web site offering items for which you have excess inventory. Let them order two more of anything they’ve already ordered and give them a third free. The details of the offer and the deadline for adding items will depend on your specific business, but you get the idea.

Try it out for just one week this year, and I’ll bet results will convince you to make it routine practice next year.

 

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Helpful Articles

For helpful how-to articles from past issues of Let’s Grow, our newsletter of marketing insights for the garden industry, click on the links below.