1. The problem:
Regardless of whether they’re established suppliers or brand new to the trade, all B2B vendors are familiar with one of
commerce’s most common problems: the need to move excess or distressed inventory. Often this is combatted by
dramatically reducing the price of closeout products for discount retailers, who offer only pennies to the dollar. This can
cause channel conflict headaches with other retailers, lead to lower profitability, and possibly even damage the overall
So, how can vendors move excess inventory while minimizing profit loss and protecting their brand? Efforts to engage
independent retailers with closeout deals through email blasts have suffered poor results, because products listed are
generic and may not be tailored to a specific retailer’s interests.
Whereoware understood that a personalized approach to engaging the independent retailer channel could result in a
more profitable way to move excess inventory. To address this need, and in partnership with Gift and Home Industry
client Creative Co-Op, Whereoware used behavioral-based marketing automation tools to create a timely, relevant, and
innovative B2B closeout email campaign.
The Creative Co-Op Closeout campaign’s goal is to get rid of excess inventory by enticing past buyers to return and
purchase, using their previous purchases as an incentive. In order to appropriately target campaign emails, Whereoware
set up relational tables, which scan through the retailer’s data, matching their past purchase history to products that
Creative Co-Op has since put on closeout. If a retailer purchased one or more of these items at least three months in the
past, an automated email is sent to notify them that a product they have ordered previously is now moving to closeout.
The email includes images of the products, the original product price, and the newly discounted product price. This both
serves as a reminder that they have purchased these items before, and provides an incentive (a lower price) on a
relevant item that will hopefully spur them to return and place a follow-up order.
2. The results:
The Creative Co-Op Closeout campaign is one of the company’s highest
revenue-producing emails this year. Specifically, in the first month of
the campaign, they saw:
808% ROI on the campaign in the first month (the campaign
runs continuously, so the ROI will only go up from here)
42% increase in order conversion rates from Closeout email
over average email order conversion rate for Creative Co-Op
255% increase in closeout items sold online compared to the
84% of the items purchased from the campaign were noncloseout items
It’s been said before, and study after study has reinforced it: the best
way to increase orders is to treat customers as individual purchasers
with individual interests. Your email campaigns must be personalized
and cannot be one-size-fits-all.
The Creative Co-Op Closeout campaign works because it is timely, since it’s sent when a retailer is most likely ready to
restock a particular item, and because it is relevant, using relational tables to show specific products the retailer has
purchased in the past, in the hopes they will be interested in a repeat purchase. It is a win-win campaign. It gives select
retailers the chance to purchase great products at a discounted rate, and in turn, Creative Co-Op gets to clear product
off the shelves at higher margins than they would have received if they sold to discount retailers.
Interestingly enough, pushing users to visit the site led to huge sales outside of just closeout items. Customers went to
see the deal, and purchased other items while they were visiting. Treating these retailers as individuals paid off big for
Creative Co-Op, with huge gains in both closeout items and, unexpectedly, non-closeout items.
Interested in the Closeout campaign? Want to know more? Contact Whereoware to learn how to implement this
program for your own company.
Tara Dikos| Vice President of Sales| Whereoware| firstname.lastname@example.org | C. 404-435-2540