Goals for 2018 - a clean slate!
In 2015, I acquired BeautyGram at the start of one of the worst recessions I have seen in Alberta in my 28 years that I have been living here. During that time, many of you stuck with me, new people have joined our online community and some have been quiet.
In 2016, I really was learning the business. I was great at sending baskets, but I was finding my feet and my voice with the BeautyGram community, that was already established with the previous owner, Jennifer. She is very much loved by this community, and by me.
Early in 2016, I hired a friend of mine who has a sales and marketing background to go through my customer list, and make some calls to some of you who have not placed orders for quite some time and she gathered some valuable feedback for me. The people that she was successful contacting, that were willing to chat with us summed up their reasons into a few high level buckets. And please know that I am paraphrasing feedback from a number of conversations.
1. Color: Some customers had a gift recipients that really loved our pink branding. However, they felt limited in who they could send boxes to with the hot pink gift box. Therefore, adding a few more colors gave our fans the ability to send boxes to people who wouldn't want a pink box, even though they may very much enjoy a BeautyGram.
2. Size vs. Value: This was a rare comment, but it came up more than once. The perception with some senders, is when they send a small box (vs a BIG basket), that the value isn't understood by the recipient. Even though its not true based on the high quality local products we choose, it is a "perception" barrier with some customers when choosing us for certain gifts.
3. Check out Process: The Build a Beauty app was innovative when it was created, but the standards of how we shop online have changed. We need to look at improving or removing the app and offering customization in a different way that is easier for our customers. Also, some people found the website confusing inside of the app, with no filtering or sorting options for the different individual products we carry. We need better ways to sort and filter different offers.
4. More offerings: The current selection we have doesn't always hit the mark, so more basket ideas for different occasions and demographics.
In 2016 and 2017, I worked on a lot of that feedback, starting with the colors of the boxes. I also started introducing traditional gift baskets with custom orders (I also have some on the website now). I onboarded some new suppliers to add more variety to some of the gift offerings. I plan on continuing to do that.
Goal 1 - Website Development and branding tweaks: I plan to tackle the website this year which is an undertaking that excites me and scares me at the same time. Through 2017 I talked to a few developers and continue to have conversations to find the right solution. A new website is very much underway, with the goal to have it done in 2018. I am also looking at the branding. I wish to drop Forget Flowers - Send a BeautyGram.
Goal 2 - Scalability: We are looking at realistic ways we can scale BeautyGram across Canada in an effort to assist us with better predictability on when gifts will arrive across Canada, which right now is a challenge. If a person needs a package on a certain date before 1 pm (for example), we cannot accommodate it unless it is in Calgary. We can rely on Canada Post within a business day of arrival, but its not a perfect system. We have a few ideas we are exploring, and can't promise that the solution will be implemented in 2018. However, we are looking at our options to tighten up our delivery times, and feel expansion is the best way. So that planning is starting, but again, may take more time.
Goal 3 - Collaboration: We have some very exciting collaboration plans on some new product offerings coming up early in 2018. No spoilers. But this is very much in the works.
Goal 4 - Speaking and Ecommerce: In 2017, I did quite a bit of public speaking on eCommerce and BeautyGram. In 2018, I am seeking more opportunities to speak, teach and mentor people who have an interest in the eCommerce space. Collaborations are in the works to launch in 2018.
I would love to hear from anyone who has feedback on what they would like to see from BeautyGram. If we can't hear you, we can't grow. Please connect with me if there is anything you would like to share.
- Carrie Paxson