Curation and collections

I’ve been talking a lot recently about curation as a business model. Curated collections can be a great way to think about your business.

This is similar to curating an art or museum exhibition. By choosing, and displaying a curated collection for sale, and providing great information about your choices, you attract customers, develop a relationship with them and encourage them to buy from you.

And that relationship means that people would rather buy from you than anyone else. In fact, they don’t even think about going anywhere else.

This might be a group of the same sort of things. Here, I’ve used the examples of printers, eco-cars, or what Martin Lewis has done at Money Saving Expert and what Responsible Travel have done for ethical holidays.

The next step with curated collections

But you might want to take another leaf out of the museum and art gallery curators’ manual. You can offer a distinct collection of different items to be bought together to make choosing easier for your customers.

curated collection

A completely curated collection.

Maybe you already sell make up and beauty products. Wouldn’t it be lovely for someone to be able to buy a collection of items specifically for their skin tones and eye colour? Or to let people do a home skin test to diagnose their skin type, and then provide the right skin care products for them?

And wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to sell a whole bunch of stuff at once, rather than just one item per customer?

Increasing customer basket size through careful curation

curated collectionsIn e-commerce, we talk about ‘customer basket size’ as one of the key metrics we want to measure and set targets to increase. The more you can sell to a customer at any one time, the more profit you’ll make.

Selling a collection can increase your customer basket size immediately and for every customer.

This model doesn’t just apply to beauty products of course. It can be used for chocolates, business books, lighting, children’s school books, accessories, stationery items, starter kits, birthday presents, software… you name it and you can probably apply this principle.

Aren’t you talking about bundling?

This already kind of happens a lot in some industries, where you can buy a bundle of products.

If you’ve got a Microsoft computer, you got a bundle of software which came with it, some of which might be useful, and some of which you’ve probably spent much time uninstalling. Microsoft does a deal with Norton Antivirus to provide a basic set up, so you’ll buy a licence to continue, and puts Skype on your computer automatically in the hope that you’ll use the basic service and then pay to call mobiles through Skype.

This sort of nonsense has been going on for years, but I’m talking about taking this much further with curated collections. Giving this more thoughtful curation is of higher value to you as a business, and much more useful to your customers.

Going further than bundling

I use the word ‘curation’ on purpose to mean choosing your collection with love and care. And being interested in giving people products which will work well together, so they gain from a delightful synergy, and benefit from your expertise in choosing what they need.

Curated collections can increase customer lifetime value

curated collections

When you offer a carefully curated collection to your customers, with lots of lovingly crafted information to help them make the right choice, you also have the opportunity to increase customer lifetime value. Which again, means more profit for you, as well as more benefit for your customers.

You can do this by just encouraging more customer loyalty, through regular communication and suggesting additional items from your collection. Or you can move the whole thing to a membership model, where your customers sign up to buy from you every month.

Help with getting your ideas into action

Maybe you’re going to transform your business into one which offers curated collections. But you need the right idea for the kind of products that will work together.  And how to turn this into a real business.

This is exactly where my library of great niche business ideas comes in. In my New Business Ideas Collection, there are lots of business ideas based on this concept of curated collections

New Business Ideas Collection has lots of business ideas with a difference – they work and can make you real money. Here’s how to get your hands on the first batch of ideas for just £5…

photo credit – Errol Ahmed,Rob Waddington and Nathan Dumaloe