November 2014 Recap – Ringing in the holidays!

‘Tis the season, folks!

If you’ve been worried about sales the past few days, don’t. The crickets you hear when you log in are normal for this time of year. Before I get into the recap for November I thought I’d give you a look at holiday traffic and sales for 2013 vs 2014.

Jessica and I started THCM on 7/19/2013. Prior to that, we’d been selling on Ebay, but only for about 6 months. So everything you see around you has been accomplished in less than 2 years.

At this time last year we had exactly 75 customers. I know because we actually hand-addressed 75 Christmas cards. We currently have more than 2,600 registered users. Obviously, we’ve grown. (And obviously we’re going to have to come up with something other than hand-addressed Christmas cards this year!)

But you’re concerned about sales right now, so let’s take a look at sales from last year so you can see how it’s going to trend.

  • October $230
  • November $201
  • December $164
  • January $441
  • February $498
  • March $807
  • April $965
  • May $1,969 (Vendors added mid-month)

These sales numbers were generated before vendors were added to the site. As you can see, sales dip in November, and dip even more in December.

But they tripled in January and continued to grow.

Keep in mind, too, that Jessica and I have never had the P&G or Redplum inserts, and we had some weeks where we also didn’t get the Smartsource. So there were weeks in there where we had no new coupons to list – at all.

 

Other than our lack of new coupons, there are two main reasons for that dip in sales:

 

  1. People aren’t thinking about growing their stockpiles in November and December. They’re worried about paying for the food they need for holiday parties. They only buy what they need at the grocery store.
  2. Manufacturers understand people aren’t doing their regular grocery shopping this time of year so the coupons they’re issuing suck.

Right now, all the coupon bloggers and Facebook pages are having a hard time coming up with matchups for their readers. If there’s a coupon, there’s no sale or it’s a product that nobody buys anyway, and if there’s a sale, there’s no coupon. All of this is what it is and it’s the same thing that happened last year.

Unless the manufacturers come out with some really hot coupons over the next couple of weeks we expect December will be slower than November, based on last year’s sales.

 

There’s nothing wrong with the website

 

If you’re worried there’s something wrong with the website and your orders aren’t coming through – don’t be. The site is running better than ever.

We did have issues with Paypal dropping orders, but I caught all those dropped orders – you didn’t miss a thing – and the Paypal problem has been fixed. Since the maintenance last week we haven’t dropped a single order. And now that I know what the problem was I’ll be able to catch it before it ever happens again.

 

What can you do to increase your sales over the next 5 or 6 weeks?

 

Get out there and promote your shop. This is the time of year when you have to drag people into your store, no matter what you’re selling, because people are busy, they’re distracted, and they can find what they’re looking for (coupons) all over the place. They’re going to buy from the first person they see.

Contact old customers you haven’t heard from for a while

Contact new customers and give them a reason to visit your shop again

This time last year we had 46 Facebook followers. Today we have over 1200 followers on Facebook and these are targeted followers, not just a bunch of people we conned into liking our FB page. They follow us because they use coupons.

Go to our Facebook page and join the conversation.  Share a link to one of your coupons and give them some matchup info – give them a reason to buy that coupon

 

October vs November Sales Results

 

Site Sales – October $8791, November $7467

Average Daily Sales – October $283, November $287

Number of orders – October 1723, November 1384

Average order – October $5.10, November $5.40

Vendor sales – October $7447 (85% of site), November $7467 (100% of site)

Number of visitors – October 8697, November 7599

Conversion rate – October 19.8%, November 18%

 

We’re not worried and you shouldn’t be, either. The Happy Couponer Marketplace continues to grow. If you compare November of 2014 to November of 2013 you’ll notice that vendor sales did not drop from October to November in 2014 like our sales did in 2013.

So, instead of worrying about sales, take this opportunity to spend some extra time with your family. In the evening, after the kids go to bed, do what Jessica and I do – crack a cold one and brainstorm. What can you do to bring in more customers? What can you do to increase your average order amount? What can you do with your shop or your listings to make them more attractive?

And then, after you’re done brainstorming, crack another cold one and binge watch “American Horror Story” or “Orange is the New Black” or “Scandal” – you know, all those shows you can’t ordinarily watch because you’re too busy clipping coupons!

We hope you and your loved ones have an amazing Thanksgiving!