Selling and Marketing Perfume Online: Dossier's Journey to Success

Mariah2 2

Mariah Parsons

Marketing

Dossier 1

$400 for a bottle of perfume? That’s a bit steep for us. The good news is that Dossier is on a mission to make premium fragrances accessible to everyone.

On Retention Chronicles, we connected with Dossier’s Founder and CEO Sergio Tache to get the 411 on the fragrance and beauty industry, how to market scents online, influencer marketing as a key marketing tool, and more. Here are some of our favorite moments from the episode.

Psst: You can listen to the full episode here.

Mentorship and leveraging other viewpoints

You learn a lot by talking with others and learning from their experiences. It’s how we grow in all areas of our lives.

Sergio’s #1 advice to someone starting as an entrepreneur is to find someone in the industry to mentor or guide you.

“My mentor, and friend, helped me learn the ropes and avoid the numerous mistakes that everyone can make when starting a new company. That relationship was crucial for me when entering the entrepreneurship world. It was a really important factor in my success in this industry. Those pieces of advice are invaluable.”

Being successful as an entrepreneur means that sometimes, you have to create your own luck. Going out of your comfort zone to find new opportunities and start conversations with leaders in the space is essential.

The challenge of buying a fragrance online

Think of the last perfume commercial you saw. It probably had people romantically walking on the beach or an extremely beautiful person standing on the top of a mountain. You were intrigued and ran to your nearest department store to try it on or take a sample home.

Dossier is doing things a bit differently.

Buying a fragrance online has one main roadblock: you can’t smell it before you purchase it. To combat this hurdle, Dossier has some strategic moves:

  1. Competitive price point: All Dossier perfumes are $29, which is significantly less expensive than their competitors. This price point gives shoppers more confidence to purchase because they're not dropping hundreds of dollars on a product they may not like. On average, people buy 2-3 perfumes during their discovery process at Dossier.

  2. Unique samples: Many fragrance companies offer sample sets where you can try on a variety of scents and decide which one you like best, but that wasn’t a cost-effective option for Dossier. Instead, they provide a small sample with the purchase of a full-size perfume so you can try the sample first to make sure you like the scent. If you don’t, you can send it back!

  3. “No questions” asked returns: Dossier is confident in their products, but sometimes things just don’t work out, so they have a “no questions asked”’ return policy. You can try on the perfume as much as you want, and if you don’t like it, you can return it for a full refund. What’s better is that these bottles don’t go to waste; Dossier donates them to charities!

“We’re confident in our product and we know it’s great quality, and our return policy shows that. With being an online store, we wanted to make the return process as frictionless as possible and risk-free for the customer.”

Influencer marketing and video

It’s safe to say that almost everyone has been influenced to buy something. Whether it was the frying pan that your mom was raving about or the air fryer you saw on TikTok, you’ve probably purchased an item that someone else endorsed in some way.

And the influencer marketing industry is growing by the day. In 2020, the market was $9.7 billion and by the end of 2022, it is projected to reach $16.4 billion. Dossier knew from the beginning that influencer marketing was the right marketing strategy for them, “we’re strong believers in influencer marketing. We’ve been utilizing influencer marketing long before it was a fancy term. Last year, there were about 15,000 pieces of content that talked about Dossier in some form or fashion. So when I say we’re believers in prospecting, we really are.”

So what’s the secret to the post-purchase experience?

It may not be a secret, but communication and reviews are vital to the post-purchase experience.

Communication is paramount at all stages of the buying process, but it is especially important post-purchase. Whether via email or SMS, post-purchase communication keeps your brand top of mind and encourages repeat purchases.

“What's important for us and what's important for our customers is the discovery process, so the way we generate quite a bit of revenue and post-purchase activity is by sending campaigns talking about various subjects. It could be about new perfume in good distribution, products back in stock, pushing a story or just some educational content around perfume.”

95% of customers read online reviews before buying a product, so it's essential to get as many customer reviews as possible—unless you’re marketing to the 5% who aren’t.

“We have a pretty aggressive strategy through email and SMS to get reviews because they are significant in various forms of communication. Reviews can be used across paid advertising campaigns, post-purchase communication, and our website to build confidence in prospective customers.”

Great perfume that doesn’t break the bank? Sign us up!

What an episode right? And those were just a few highlights! Listen to the full Retention Chronicles episode here.

But first tell us, do you have a signature fragrance? We’re split 50/50 here. Mariah likes to have a variety of fragrances, but Yaw sticks with Davidoff Cool Water.

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