State of the Union – September 2016
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? For those of you who are new to THCM, you’re either going to find this very interesting or very boring. Either way, the vendors who’ve been with us for a while will all tell you…
Grab a cuppa! This is gonna take a while!
A couple of days ago I had a conversation with one of the vendors that made me realize a lot of you have no idea what’s happening with the site these days, and if you did, it might help you get more sales.
THCM has grown up to be a major player in the coupon clipping business. To give you an idea… In December 2013 Jessica and I hand-addressed a Christmas card for each of our registered customers. There were 72. Today we have 11,091. In the last 7 days alone we’ve had 182 new customers register on the site.
We also have several coupon clippers and coupon clipping services who order from us in large quantities on a regular basis. So don’t be afraid to put up those large lots!
In May 2014 the first 5 vendors joined THCM and we did a total of $1,969.00 in sales. This month, September 2016, we’ll top $14,300 with 51 active vendors, and this isn’t even our best month this year. (The best month was January with almost $18,000) In the last month alone we’ve added 10 new vendors.
While THCM has always shown growth in all major metrics, over the last 2 -3 months we’ve experienced some tremendous increases in terms of registered customers, registered vendors, traffic to the site, and sales – especially sales.
I’m attaching a spreadsheet so you can see actual numbers. You can download it HERE. Yeah, some of the numbers are missing (we haven’t always been the best record-keepers) but the important ones are there.
Take a look at these numbers and look at the growth. Now, look at your own business.
Your Business Should be Growing, Too!
If your business isn’t growing right along with THCM then maybe it’s time to take a look under the hood.
Are you still ordering the same number of inserts you were ordering back when you started selling on THCM? THCM has grown by leaps and bounds. If your business isn’t growing along with it then maybe it’s because you’re still thinking we’re still in that ‘baby’ phase.
Are you doing anything to brand your business so customers remember you or are you still shipping your orders in envelopes that you made out of junk mail? Are you still using bits of scrap paper for a Thank You note? Do you have business cards and return address labels so you look professional?
Have you looked at the other vendors on the site lately to see if your pricing and lot sizes are competitive? Have you ordered from some of the other vendors to see what they do with their envelopes and orders? Have you checked out the competition on other sites?
THCM is no longer a ‘baby.’ We’ve grown up. We’ve become a major contender in the marketplace. Customers come to us first, now, instead of us having to reel them in. We’ve even been approached by a couple of advertisers over the last few weeks. In the past, it was always US contacting THEM, but now THEY’RE coming to US.
We’ve got some street cred now, baby, and that means you have it, too! Use that community street cred to leverage your own share of the business.
What You Need To Do Now!
Get ready for January!
January is traditionally a huge month for us. Just look at the numbers. After the lull in inserts during November and December, customers are looking for new coupons. They’re ready to grocery shop again now that the holidays are over. They’ve also made their New Year’s Resolutions to start saving money. And the manufacturers are happy to oblige with 5 to 6 new inserts that first weekend in January.
If you’re hesitant about getting more than your usual number of inserts, just look at the numbers on the spreadsheet. I can not stress this enough – We will get hit HARD in January! Start planning for it now! Talk to your suppliers. Find new suppliers. Get those inserts so you can get more sales.
Get Ready for October!
October is going to be another big month. Again, look at the spreadsheet to see the history. It’s the last big month before the holiday slow-down so get some extra inserts in and take advantage of the traffic.
Get Ready for November and December
These two months are traditionally very slow. There are no inserts on the weekends of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. If you rely on your coupon sales, start pinching your pennies now.
Before you look at the spreadsheet, here’s a little history…
The first 5 vendors were added to THCM in May 2014. Prior to that it was just me and Jessica clipping our own coupons. In October 2014 we stopped clipping and left it all up to the vendors.
THCM has gone through several redesigns since we’ve been in business. Most of those redesigns were to make improvements to the site for vendors. The site you see now was installed in February 2016 after our major crash in January.
When the site crashed in January we lost a lot of data which is why you see some blanks in January, February and March.
The first quarter of 2016 – January, February, and March – brought extreme technical difficults for us and for you vendors. So bad, in fact, we almost shut down the site. But even though we were all pulling our hair out the customers still kept coming in.
In response to the January fiasco we found two designers to help us maintain the site. These two guys know our site inside and out and we keep them on speed-dial for emergencies. Thankfully, when they fixed everything and cleaned up the site in February and March they did such a good job we haven’t had even a blip since then.
The Visitors number you see on the spreadsheet is the number of unique visitors who came to our site during that month, and does not include repeat visits or the number of pages they viewed. Each unique visitor is only counted one time, the first time they visit that month.
OK. I’m outta here. Questions? You know where to reach me. Have a wild one!