With the holiday sale season coming to a close, retailers are all looking for ways to clear out their holiday inventory. Today we’re going to show you a new technique that borrows from a popular Japanese tradition called Fukubukuro, roughly translated to mystery, or even lucky, bags. We’ll tell you how you can use mystery boxes to increase sales, help you recover from your post-holiday slump, clear out holiday inventory, and increase profits.
What are mystery boxes?
Mystery boxes consist of a random assortment of goods from your online shop, which customers pay a fixed price for. Why would customers purchase a product when they don’t know what they’re getting? The pleasure of surprise is one reason, but the discount they’ll receive (up to 70% off!) is an even stronger motivating factor. But why, as a merchant, would you want to give such a large discount on your products? Because it’s the perfect opportunity to clear out remaining inventory, and make more room in your warehouse for next season’s products.
Which products work in a mystery box?
Affordable Selection - Customers who purchase mystery boxes are taking a chance. This means the product bundle must be priced well: customers should view it as a fun purchase that’s not overly expensive; the deal should be what grabs their attention. A good way to determine the price of your mystery box is to check the average
order value (AOV) of customer purchases on your site. Try to keep your prices at or under that price point to make your offer more appealing.
General product - Products that appeal to a general public are great for quickly putting together mystery boxes: one-size fits all, office supplies, toys and snacks are just a few products that fit this category. You could also consider offering more specific boxes segmented by your product attributes and categories if you have the time. For example, you could package clothes in mystery boxes by size. Take a look at your website structure to get ideas for your mystery box offering. Just stay clear of product customizations-- they can be a mystery box buster.
Small-sized products - Small items are an easy sell in mystery boxes. Your best bet would be to combine products that easily fit into a flat-rate box. Anything too large will be costly to ship and cut into your profit margin. Plus, customers will enjoy receiving a variety of goods, which can enhance the feeling of having gotten a deal.
Last minute tips
Create an FAQ. Address as many of your customer’s questions as possible, especially if it’s the first time you’re offering the deal. Common questions include:
- Is shipping included?
- Can items be exchanged? Returned?
- What can customers generally expect?
- What is the value of the package?
- Is there a limit to the number of boxes a customer can purchase?
Offer great value. It may be tempting to provide customers with a random assortment of things they may or may not want. While that might be a great way to clear out your inventory, but you risk damaging your shop’s reputation if you don’t offer your customers the value you promise. Keep in mind that these customers are people who shop with you regularly, so they have a good sense of the value of each of your products.
It’s your turn
- Determine how many mystery boxes you’d like to offer
- List your product on your website
- Promote your mystery box (via email, social media, or even your blog)
- While you wait for orders to come in, brainstorm ways to encourage customers share their purchase.
- Pack and ship your mystery boxes!