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GMI AT A GLANCE

Private sales: an effective technique for building customer loyalty

Organizing private sales is selling directly to your loyal clients.
28 Sep 2017
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Increasingly demanding, today’s consumer is constantly looking for an appreciation of their status as a buyer, special privileges, and a more advanced consideration of their expectations. In such a context, an effective sales strategy requires merchants (both physical and online stores) to get more and more creative – first to convert prospects into customers, then to increase their loyalty. To achieve this, one of the most fashionable sales techniques these days is organizing private sales. But what does this involve? How do these sales help build customer loyalty?

A private sale: what’s the point?

Often used by ready-to-wear clothing stores, but also in more and more other fields (furniture and automobile retailers, etc.), a private sale can be defined as a sales method that lets buyers purchase certain products from a particular brand or store in a VIP environment, in addition to taking advantage of discounts. Limited in time, this type of activity is also characterized by limited access to a restricted number of guests – hence the qualifiers “private” and “VIP.”

For a retailer, organizing private sales can offer several advantages. First of all, this type of event is ideal for quickly and effectively moving certain products. But it’s also the perfect environment to activate a new client base and develop a privileged relationship with your customers. Indeed, the private nature of the event often stirs up feelings of appreciation in the invited customer; they feel somewhat privileged to be participating in an event that’s not open to everyone. It’s also worth bringing up the price factor (generally lower) as well as the “silo” aspect that eliminates all competition during the private sale. When it comes to increasing customer loyalty, there’s nothing better.

Physical or online?

Originally, private sales mainly took the form of destocking operations in sales areas. Still regularly organized by many brands, these operations are accessible to a limited number of customers and subscribers who can, on these occasions, purchase items for rock-bottom prices. Recently, however, the term “private sales” is increasingly being used to refer to events organized in store or in a more pleasant setting aimed at providing “good customers” the opportunity to acquire certain products exclusively. In this type of sale, the “cheap” character is often set aside. On the other hand, this type of activity, often accompanied by small gestures of appreciation, can prove highly effective in the customer retention process.

But private sales have obviously not escaped the general digitization of recent years. Vente-privee.com, Showroomprive.com, Voyage-prive.com, and Bazarchic.com are good examples of the emergence of – and the rise in – online private sales. In effect, these online companies have revolutionized the field by building their entire strategy around this sales method. However, nobody’s forcing you, as an online retailer, to do likewise. In effect, you have the opportunity to take advantage of this technique by organizing occasional online private sales through a web platform or simply as a support.

Successfully organize your private sale by getting the word out

Successfully organizing a private sale requires, upstream, getting the word out about your event. To do this, it’s possible to make use of every channel: telemarketing, direct advertising via word of mouth, communication on social media, your website, your online store, etc. You shouldn’t neglect the more traditional modes of communication either, as they may prove quite significant in supporting this bundle of digital strategies.

In the case of a physical private sale, make sure to create a friendly environment, and don’t hesitate to communicate throughout the event. In this context, you can broadcast the event live via Facebook Live or Periscope or organize regular posts on these social networks during the private sale. Finally, to effectively boost customer loyalty, consider sharing photos and videos with participants after the event, along with a thank-you note. In a word, make them want to come back next time.

To successfully organize your private sales, you need a subcontractor with innovative, customized relationship marketing solutions. Take advantage of them and increase loyalty among your customers by making them ambassadors for your company or products with effective events. Germain Larivière is a good example of how a good call center can help reach and exceed the objectives of their clients.

You want to learn more about organizing private sales?

Contact me,

Micheline Durocher

President, Groupe Marketing International

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