During a holiday season that was disappointing to sellers across the board, an online jewelry company actually experienced better-than-expected receipts - and are even anticipating an increase in their revenue for 2009. Whiteflash has not done this well by accident.
"A lot of folks are in survival mode right now," says Debi Wexler, CEO of online jewelry retailer Whiteflash.com, "but you have to be in fight mode to win the customer in the right way." Since its particular battleground in online, the tech-savvy company utilizes a lot of social media to connect with its customers. "When we dress a celebrity with our product, we put it on MySpace, Facebook, or Youtube to showcase [it]," reveals Wexler, "We also twitter about new products."
Whether online or on the street, every store owner has to figure out how to stand out. For Whiteflash.com, the retail adage "location, location, location" has taken a whole new meaning. In order to be top of mind, the e-tailer realizes the need to be everywhere its prospects are. "It's all about connecting with the customer in a variety of ways. That's how we ended up seeing an increase in sales, regardless of the economic situation," Wexler explains. Of course, brick-and-mortar locations could - and should - use all of the same avenues to reach out to prospects in the area.
This company has realized that it's not enough anymore to simply do things better; the key for Whiteflash has been finding ways to do things differently. Tough times call for creativity, but luckily, user review sites and social networking are free. The trade-off is a regular time commitment to connect with potential customers in order to be that "right place, right time." The winner in this game are those who continue to evolve every day, meeting their customers' needs in new ways in an ever-changing environment.