By the end of 2012, it ballooned to 35,000. That's an improve of almost 200%.
When you aspect in the complexity of managing and controlling the warehousing, inventory, and distribution specifications to support such a humongous product base -- the feat becomes much more than outstanding.
Here then are the five key styles that the iHerb company was in a position to implement to attain and sustain their current level of operations.
(And which their competition has began to copy!)
One - sell cheaply without sacrificing high quality. Strive to become the perceived "value leader" in your niche.
iHerb is able to sell at deep-discounts because of the massive savings they understand after they established their state-of-the-art warehousing, packaging and distribution systems.
They then pass the savings on to their clients.
Two - provide products "wide and deep" to capture a wide segment of the purchasing public.
With more options, buyers usually stay longer, and buy much more as a consequence.
Three - give a distinct incentive that has a real dollar worth, like an instantly-redeemable money discount coupon.
iHerb gave (and continues to give) immediate money rebate of $ten to first-time buyers when they use an iHerb coupon code. They also ship totally free primarily based on a minimum quantity of $40. (It used to be $20.)
And if the purchaser purchases $60 or more, she gets extra 5% to 12% instant discount.
On top of that, the purchaser then gets her own iHerb $ten discount code which she can freely give away to friends and family.
This strategy went viral because it introduced the buyer to "iHerb Rewards" which was the company's version of a Customer Loyalty Plan.
The buyer's own referral code automatically certified her to participate and partake of the rewards.
The main reward was the capability to earn substantial dollar credits. Dollar credits are earned when friends, family, or new buyers use the iHerb code of the promoter (the original buyer) when buying at iHerb for the first time.
The dollar amounts earned can then be utilized to spend for purchases, or converted to cash when they exceed $300 at the end of month.
Needless to say, this was nicely-received by the members as can be gleaned from the competition amongst them in the search engines, social media, and health forums, all marketing their personal iHerb coupon codes.
Four - give customers a good purchasing experience.
Word-of-mouth endorsement is each good and bad, for the company.
Good when the feedback is favorable. Disaster, when the feedback is bad.
From the number of repeat clients, positive customer feedback, and daily volume transactions, iHerb seems be handling this region extremely well.
5 - create a neighborhood at the social media giant "Facebook" where customers can easily give comments or ventilate complaints.
With its much more than 1,000,000,000 members, it's suicide to ignore Facebook as an integral part of a marketing campaign.
iHerb recognized this opportunity early. They established their Facebook web page in 2009 when companies are still evaluating FB's company potential.
Per my experience, I have posted at least 5 occasions at iHerb's FB page, and I was usually amazed at how quick their business reps have responded on every occasion.