At The Candle Lab stores, shoppers can purchase pre-made candles or interact with employees to mix together scents from more than 140 fragrances to pour a scented candle that’s unique to them. Re-creating that sensory-rich experience online is tough, says owner Steven Weaver.

While debuted a decade ago, the brand did not prioritize investing in the ecommerce site until a few years ago. “I was under the false impression in the early days of the company that people would not buy candles online that they had not smelled before,” Weaver says.

Luckily, he was proven wrong, as ecommerce sales have gradually grown to roughly 15% of its direct-to-consumer business and is now a core part of its business model, Weaver says. Plus, in 2020, the portion of its online sales is likely closer to 30% when factoring in the store closures because of the coronavirus pandemic, Weaver says.

The brand found that through videos and giving its customer service team carte blanch to please customers, The Candle Lab could re-create its high-touch store experience online. “With good ads and good creative, you can sell to anyone even if they haven’t been into one of your stores,” Weaver says.

One of the top ways it does that is through personalized videos. One of the best parts of being in a Candle Lab store is its staff, Weaver says. “We have fantastic staff members,” he says. “We hire big personalities to create a fun experience when shoppers come into the store.”

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