New look helps Dolls House Emporium recruit customers

The Dolls House Emporium saw like-for-like sales for the three
months to 31st December rise 16 per cent, or by £90,000. A
number of factors drove the increase, including September’s
redesign of the catalogue and relaunch of the website.

Among the changes was the addition of games to the website, which sales and marketing director Ashley Gatehouse said were well received and boosted traffic significantly. “The online treasure hunt game Dancing Shoes saw over 3,000 participants playing the game over the six weeks leading up to Christmas for their chance to win up to £1,000 of Dolls House Emporium vouchers,” he said. The site also introduced personalised and incentivised welcome and reactivation programmes, which Gatehouse said led to a 20 per cent rise in “trial buyer to multibuyer” conversions and a 30 per cent rise in reactivation of lapsed customers “whilst not increasing the prior year’s absolute cost of advertising and marketing”.

The marketer of doll’s houses and miniatures also embarked on TV advertising in 2007, promoting best-selling houses on Viacom’s Nickelodeon TV platform and website, resulting in “significant brand exposure and incremental sales,” Gatehouse said.

The business is currently focusing on the rollout of its new business intelligence system, which will allow greater sophistication of customer behavioural modelling. There will also be “significant enhancements” to the product offer, Gatehouse added, including “four product brand launches”. And the company will consider rolling out its in-store concession format following a successful test in the Houghton Hall Garden Centre in Carlisle.


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