In the News > Turner Puts Marketing Experience to Use With Online Retail Businesses
Turner Puts Marketing Experience to Use With Online Retail Businesses
by Rosalind Guy
Memphis Daily News -- Oct 29, 2007 --

 

When Almetria Turner was a marketing student at the University of Memphis, she did more than just hit the books. She started a Web-based business that since has grown into two businesses, Apple Dumplin Baby and Beaux Cadeaux.

Apple Dumplin is an online store offering baby products and accessories for babies, children and new mothers. Beaux Cadeaux, which is French for "beautiful gifts," offers an assortment of gift baskets, flowers and accessories.

After Turner earned a master's degree in marketing in 1999 - she also received a bachelor's degree in marketing in 1996 - she began doing research with the goal of turning the site, www.thebcgiftcollection.com, into a full-fledged business venture.

Since then, Turner has forged partnerships with FTD Florists and some of the companies that have had products featured on O's Favorite Things List in O, The Oprah Magazine.

Beaux Cadeaux's success was recognized nationally when in 2005 it was voted one of the Top 50 Fastest Growing Gift Basket Businesses in America by Gift Basket Review Magazine.

Turner started Apple Dumplin Baby last year because she said she believes a market always will exist for the products she offers on the site, www.appledumplinbaby.com.

"I knew people would always have babies; that's not going anywhere," she said. "And as far as gifts, I've been to so many gift showers ... and of course, people usually get something from the baby registry at places like Babies 'R' Us, Target and places like that. But I always wanted to do something that was a little different but still useful for them as parents."

Putting background to good use

Turner's background in marketing has been a two-fold benefit, helping her own business as well her clients' businesses.

She said she's been able to cut out the middle man when it comes to marketing both of the Internet-based businesses. She's able to write her own press releases, create and send her own direct-mail cards/brochures and create her own marketing strategies.

One thing she said she does to make a lasting impression on her clients, especially the corporate ones, is to leave Riesen candy behind with what she calls "Ten Reasons You Should Use Beaux Cadeaux."

As far as benefiting the customers is concerned, particularly business clients, Turner said she can help them implement marketing strategies using her products that will help attract new business and encourage loyalty among clientele and employees.

"So, not only can I create the gifts for you, I can work with corporations and help them with their marketing plan as far as gathering prospects or keeping them loyal to the company," she said.

Turner also maintains her own Web sites and has software installed that allows her to measure how many people visit each of the sites. There are between 2,000 and 3,000 hits per month on the Beaux Cadeaux Web site and at least 1,000 hits per month on the Apple Dumplin Baby site, she said.

Like department stores, Turner said she experiences peaks in buying during holidays such as Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. She also tries to keep her clients mindful of the little-publicized holidays such as National Law Day and National Doctors' Day.


Online only

While some people might prefer to be able to visit an actual store, Turner said she has no plans to open a storefront because it would, in some ways, limit her client-base.

"Sometimes people do tend to want to actually come in a store and see and look and pick and buy," she said. "But right now I see myself keeping online because of the simple fact that it keeps my overhead low and keeps prices lower for the customers.

"I have to think local, but act global."

Turner does have a private studio where she assembles many of her gift baskets.

"So when people either call me by phone or order something on the Internet, I can fill it at my studio and then that's when I go out and deliver the gift or I can pack it up and ship it to their location," she said.

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