Click Or Treat: E-Tailer Cashes In On Halloween

Internet gift delivery business CarePackages.com has capitalized upon an untapped e-commerce niche with its Halloween-themed ScarePackage.

The package, which ranges in price from $9.95 (US$) to $15.95, is stuffed with Halloween brand-name goodies such as M&Ms, Kit Kat, Good ‘N Plenty and Milk Duds, and is then delivered in a box that features a picture of a bright orange pumpkin.

According to company co-founder Mike Moran, CarePackages.com has already filled thousands of ScarePackage orders — even though the e-tailer has done little advertising to promote the special.

“So far, 100 percent of our sales have come from word of mouth,” Moran told the E-Commerce Times. “We may have to continue delivering them (ScarePackages) through the beginning of next week.”

The Next Logical Step

The 32 year-old Moran cut his marketing teeth during a five year stint with Internet news and information provider PointCast. It was during this period that he noticed how burgeoning online greeting card company Blue Mountain Arts Publishing began to leverage its online communications to sell advertising.

“We watched the success of e-greetings,” Moran recalled. “It was like e-mail on steroids.”

Ultimately, after private investors and investment firm NetGain pumped $1.5 million into the Fairfield, Connecticut-based start-up earlier this year, Moran unveiled what he calls “the next logical step in sentiment marketing.”

Outsourcing Is Out

According to Moran, one of the side benefits of CarePackages.com’s online specialty gift business is the transactional database that the company is rapidly building.

To make sure that the growing customer base continues to swell, Moran said that unlike many e-tailers, CarePackages.com refuses to outsource its warehousing or order fulfillment. The company rents a 10,000-square-foot warehouse and employs 10 workers to make sure things are done right.

“We strongly believe in having total control of our inventory,” Moran said.

Great Expectations

Despite a probable firestorm of competition coming from such big players as Hallmark and Blue Mountain, Moran believes that CarePackages.com will continue to prosper. Plans to expand its specialty gift program to include the pet market are in the works.

While CarePackages.com’s first year revenue projections are just over $1 million, Moran expects that the company will be generating annual revenue of $75 to $100 million in five years’ time.

To reach this goal, the company hopes to attract an additional $10 million in venture capital the first quarter of next year.

“This round it’s time to bring in the big players,” he added.

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