By the end of 2012, it ballooned to 35,000. That's an increase of nearly 200%.
When you factor in the complexity of managing and controlling the warehousing, inventory, and distribution specifications to assistance such a humongous product base -- the feat becomes more than outstanding.
Here then are the five important designs that the iHerb company was able to implement to reach and sustain their present level of operations.
(And which their competitors has started to copy!)
1 - sell cheaply with out sacrificing quality. Strive to turn out to be the perceived "value leader" in your niche.
iHerb is in a position to sell at deep-discounts simply because of the huge savings they realize after they established their state-of-the-art warehousing, packaging and distribution systems.
They then pass the savings on to their clients.
Two - offer products "wide and deep" to capture a wide segment of the purchasing public.
With more options, purchasers generally remain longer, and purchase more as a consequence.
3 - give a distinct incentive that has a genuine dollar worth, like an immediately-redeemable money discount coupon.
iHerb gave (and continues to give) instant money rebate of $10 to initial-time purchasers when they use an iHerb coupon code. They also ship totally free primarily based on a minimum amount of $40. (It used to be $20.)
And if the buyer purchases $60 or more, she gets additional 5% to 12% instant discount.
On leading of that, the buyer then gets her personal iHerb $ten discount code which she can freely give away to buddies and family.
This strategy went viral because it introduced the buyer to "iHerb Rewards" which was the company's version of a Consumer Loyalty Plan.
The buyer's personal referral code automatically certified her to participate and partake of the rewards.
The main reward was the ability to earn substantial dollar credits. Dollar credits are earned when buddies, family, or new buyers use the iHerb code of the promoter (the original purchaser) when buying at iHerb for the first time.
The dollar amounts earned can then be used to pay for purchases, or converted to money 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 competitors amongst them in the search engines, social media, and health forums, all advertising their own iHerb coupon codes.
Four - give customers a great buying experience.
Word-of-mouth endorsement is both great and poor, for the business.
Good when the feedback is favorable. Disaster, when the feedback is poor.
From the quantity of repeat clients, good customer feedback, and daily volume transactions, iHerb seems be handling this region extremely well.
Five - create a neighborhood at the social media giant "Facebook" where clients can effortlessly give comments or ventilate complaints.
With its more than 1,000,000,000 members, it's suicide to ignore Facebook as an integral part of a advertising campaign.
iHerb recognized this chance early. They established their Facebook web page in 2009 when businesses are still evaluating FB's business potential.
Per my experience, I have posted at least 5 times at iHerb's FB page, and I was usually amazed at how quick their business reps have responded on every occasion.