Interview with OnTheList, a Flash Sales Company
Launched in January 2016, OnTheList is specialised in a brand new concept of highly discounted shopping in Hong Kong.
OnTheList organizes members-only Flash Sales around the city, offering past-seasons items from premium brands, not only in Fashion. Since the launch, OnTheList has organized 12 Flash Sales with different brands like Karen Millen, ba&sh, Sinequanone, Vilebrequin, Anteprima, Tod's, Dr. Martens, Havaianas, Superga, etc....with the aim to provide the best discounts to our members, always in a convenient location, OnTheList holds events in the shopping districts like Central or Causeway Bay, as well as the hottest venues in Hong Kong like PMQ and Lan Kwai Fong.
2. How do you go about securing inventory?
We work directly with the brands or the brands' distributors in HK. They all have some inventory at their warehouses. With our operational expertise to organise the Flash Sales, adding to our database of 26k OnTheList members, we can assure the brands that we can sell most of this past-season inventory during the Flash Sale which usually lasts only 3 or 4 days. When we work with a brand, we organise everything regarding the event: finding a venue, hiring all the part times, managing the logistics, etc.
3. You said you have 26K members, what's the secret to building an email list?
Our events are invitation-only. It means that customers need to register on our website or at the entrance to enter the Flash Sale. Nobody can enter without being registered. Then, the members receive their personal invitation for each coming Flash Sale.
At the beginning in January we started from scratch. The first Flash Sale was for the French brand ba&sh. It was a lot of word of mouth via the French community. We gave flyers to all our friends and ask them to give them to their colleagues. We also invested a bit in marketing: publications on magazines, eDM, bloggers.
After each event we have more and more members in our database.
Our team works at co-working space. We have meetings to prepare and to debrief each Flash Sale.
On a weekly basis, we organise a team lunch to get to know better each other and to discuss any subject except business. We find crucial to have those moments with the team.
When we don’t have Flash Sales, Diego and myself are meeting with the retail/marketing Managers, financial Director and/or the CEO of different brands.
During each Flash Sale, we help for the set-up to define the best merchandising and we stay for the opening as it's usually a preview for the VIPs.
For the following days of the event, we are coming at the opening/closing of the venue most of the time. Jean-Christophe, OnTheList operational Manager, is in charge of the all the organisation of each Flash Sale.
5. Tell us one memorable story from running this business so far.
Seeing more than 4,000 people showing up in the 3-days Flash Sale for Dr Martens. It's always impressive to see how many persons are attracted when desirable brands are sold with those discounts!
6. What are 3 things you want people to know about your platform?
Pioneer concept of members-only Flash Sale in Hong Kong at least twice a month.
Each Flash Sale is a 3-4 days event for a desirable brand and not only in fashion.
- Members get exclusive invitation for discounted shopping, with an average of 75% off: Register on www.onthelist.hk to get your invitations and check your emails!
Find OnTheList on Facebook