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10 REASONS why u should buy e-tailer fredflare.com
1) Strong, recognizable 14yr old e-tailer averages $3 million in yearly sales with a mere 9 full-time employees, (more part-time help needed in 4th quarter). No one on our staff has any business or tech expertise.
2) Loyal customer following with heartfelt connection to brand includes…
60,000 EMAIL subscribers
111,982 FACEBOOK likes
7,609 TWITTER followers
4262 TUMBLR followers
2305 PINTEREST followers
3418 INSTAGRAM followers
1277 FLICKR contacts
590 YOUTUBE subscribers
We also very recently did a customer survey with TONS of great input from our shoppers that can be used to build loyalty even more.
3) With no PR team and no media expertise, the brand has garnered over 1000 press mentions.
4) Great relationships and current database of over 700 press contacts in long and short lead publications, primarily in the fashion/style/celebrity/home categories.
5) Complete database with over 800 vendors in home, novelties, fashion and accessories. While retail always includes risk, partnering with these vendors to select the right merchandise can generate incredible revenue.
6) Recent $200,000 update to website with lots of new features.
7) Company has no debt.
8) Totally fun, creative feel-good company culture with exciting, challenging business opportunities. Owners may be willing to stay on and consult for a limited time.
9) Great online growth potential for the tech-savvy and/or terrific potential for retail stores – we’ve seen incredible profits in pop-ups! – as well as wholesale opportunities for branded product development.
10) This price is a steal! While we're not as profitable as we were two years ago, then the asking price was around $3 million.
10 CHALLENGES that face fredflare.com
Gonna keep it real about the tougher sides of the biz...
1) Our brand-new site still has functionality issues and speed issues.
2) Site is not optimized for cell phones and tablets so there will be some additional expense making a more phone friendly shopping experience. It’s critical, however, as this customer sector is important and growing.
3) We have no tech team.
4) Online retail marketplace has become increasingly competitive with Amazon, discounters and flash sites.
5) Changes in email marketing deliverability from Google have made it more difficult to reach our customers.
6) Since the merchandise we offer is typically inexpensive, you need volume to insure profitability.
7) Last two years traffic/sales/profits have dropped considerably.
8) Our conversion rate has always been somewhat challenged:(
9) We’re primarily a 4th quarter business.
10) It’s a lot of work, but what isn’t?
If I had it to do over, here are some things I believe could make a difference…
TESTING TESTING TESTING
As I’ve said a couple times, we’ve never had an in-house tech team, no programmers, no research analysts, nothing... We never had anyone who could perform A/B testing on different areas of the site. I know there’s an opportunity here as I believe playing around with key elements on fredflare.com could easily result in better conversion, better sales, better profits.
INVEST IN A TOP TIER TEAM
We always dreamed of having rock star executives, visionary CEO's, inventive developers... But mostly our team comprised of younger, inexperienced people like us, all learning on the job. Take that excitement and now add one supersmart biz person like yourself and I know this place would KILL it.
SELL ONLY GIFTS AND ACCESSORIES AND NOT FASHION
Pls! Learn from us. We love fashion and worked hard to present it in a fun way. Sadly, except for an occasional star, it just never performed to our hopes. And, of course, you have all the extra work of shooting the item on a model and all the additional returns that come with offering clothing. Lastly, the business is much more seasonal than the home category which has a longer shelf life. I truly believe carrying fashion is one of the reasons we fell so far behind profit-wise. We loved it and worked to make it grow but it just wasn't working and we couldn't let it go.
Certainly we love novelties but, more and more, we see the same items on Amazon or other big box retail sites. The customer Google shops more than ever now so the way she selects her purchases has changed. To counter this it’s important to offer more unique, even handmade, items that connect to what she's searching for. Fredflare has a history of doing this with a call for entries called Next Big Thing where we selected talented designers all over the world and featured their items for sale on FF. The project didn’t necessarily make money but helped us find the occasional top seller that wouldn’t be found elsewhere. We suggest growing this angle.
If you can generate the volume, one idea might be to move fredflare.com more and more towards becoming a discount site all the time. Our sales have always done well and you could keep presenting them in unique ways. Our flash sales often presented art or other special items, available for a limited time, and those did well. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
FOCUSING ON LOYAL CUSTOMERS
While social media is important and an active part of our daily marketing, we suggest focusing on the loyal customers that have spent money with us over the years. Every day we have customers who have ordered from us 10-20 times before. We LOVE our customers and have always felt it's our job to make them smile. I’ve always wanted to develop a campaign that gives them extra personal service. I’m confident this would also build sales.
We really are known as a great source for gifts, especially at the Holiday period. On occasion we’ve had companies or individuals contact us for items in bulk. One time we made $65K on one order. I believe developing this part of the business could lead to great revenues, assuming new team is interested in product development.
Somewhere over the last two years or so we began to lose traffic as a continuing monthly trend. We honestly still aren't sure why. One year our Google ads go crazy, bringing so much business, and then the next year they barely pay for themselves. I believe an experienced analyst could more thoroughly investigate this phenomenon and develop sound strategies to counteract the downward trend. We were just kinda guessing.
We have had licensing meetings with a couple major retailers. There is great potential to take this brand and turn it into a line of products at Target or book products with Chronicle or a collaboration with a shoe brand. Anything!
WHY ARE WE SELLING?
Well, as you can see, this last year has been rough on the pocketbook and we haven't been profitable. We were convinced that a redesign on the website would turn it around and, sadly, we spent nearly $200K to do this, only to have the site have the complete opposite effect of what was intended.
We love this business very much but, after 15 years (14 online), we think it’s time to do something else. We are moving to the country where our house and car are paid for, thanks to fredflare.com, with a small savings and who knows what's next??
For a couple years we tried to find an investor or someone interested in purchasing the company, requiring a much bigger investment than we are asking now. Today you’re getting a great deal on a cute website, one made up of a lot of hearts and rainbows and sweat and tears but mostly so much love.
All we ever wanted was a partner, either with tech or retail or business expertise, to help take fredflare.com to the next level. We’re so happy we found you.
|Site Established ?||January 2000|
|Built With ?||—|
|Google Analytics Detected ?||Yes|
|Domain Registered ?||9 June 1999|
|Registrar ?||NETWORK SOLUTIONS|
|Content Unique ?||Yes|
|Design Unique ?||Yes|
|Links In Google ?||71|
|Pages In Google ?||12,700|
|MajesticSEO Inbound Links ?||1,198,607|
|SEOmoz mozRank ?||5.3|
|Alexa Rank ?||56,680|