Try before you buy proves to be a popular venture for MicroPerfumes, a direct-to-consumer brand that sells small- and travel-sized name-brand fragrances.

Authenticity is important to consumers. They want to know that what they’re purchasing is authentic and reputable. sells sample- and travel-sized fragrances on its website.

“We put a big focus on not just affordability but trustworthiness of the brand,” says Camron Collard, chief growth officer at MicroPerfumes.

Data from the Buy Safe America Coalition indicates that United States Customs intercepted $42.8 million in contraband perfumes and toiletries in 2019. The increased popularity of ecommerce during COVID-19 also coincided with the increase in counterfeit goods that appear online. That’s especially true on marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba, according to the report. The Buy Safe America Coalition is a group of retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers and law enforcement working to combat counterfeit and stolen goods.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization with 38 member countries, estimates that pirated and counterfeit products make up 2.5% of world trade, or $464 billion annually.

“It’s important that customers feel sure that if they’re buying from us, it’s not a knockoff or a duplicate version of the name brand,” Collard says.


Sample sizes help MicroPerfumes compete with brick-and-mortar stores

Camron Collard MicroPerfumes

Camron Collard, chief growth officer, MicroPerfumes

When the pandemic shut down much of in-store shopping, consumers turned to online options. Fragrances are difficult to sell online because shoppers can’t smell what they’re buying, Collard says. Fragrance also has a shelf life. MicroPerfumes must calculate what it has in inventory versus what is selling.

“We don’t want to keep things just sitting around. That’s not our business model,” Collard says. “We want to rebottle only the fragrances we know we’re going to move.”

MicroPerfumes’ marketing and manufacturing teams work together to analyze the previous year’s trends to plan ahead.


“Last year, we went from selling 1,000 units a day to 10,000 units a day,” he says. Its conversion rate is between 4% and 5%, he says.

Sample and travel-sized products sold on contain genuine fragrances and are independently rebottled and repacked by Perfume Ventures Inc. (PVI), according to Collard. Fragrances are bought in bulk and transferred into MicroPerfumes’ signature bottles in-house.

According to Collard, MicroPerfumes has experienced 154% year-over-year growth for Q1 and Q2 2022 compared with 2021.

“We’re not just battling other online retailers. We’re also battling in-store competition,” Collard says.


But being a smaller company has its advantages, Collard says.

“We can be pretty quick and pivot our promotions if we see what our competitors are doing,” he says. “If Sephora or Ulta push out a promotion, we can kind of jump on board and start our own or at least make our audience aware that we’re putting something on.”

MicroPerfumes’ fragrance-selling strategy for the holidays

MicroPerfumes relies on its products’ giftable nature in preparation for the holiday season. Shoppers can purchase sample-sized bottles, try out what they like and purchase the full-sized version once they decide what they like.

MicroPerfumes’ average order value is $40. So it made sense to lower the free shipping threshold from $49 to $40, Collard says. “The sweet spot of shipping falls around $40,” he says.


MicroPerfumes determined the new threshold based on how its products compared to competitors’ pricing. offers free shipping for orders $50 or more, and offers free shipping for orders $35 or more. Both are two of MicroPerfumes’ major competitors, Collard says.

The retailer decided to move away from daily promo code deals in favor of providing everyday low prices, he says. That strategy included reducing prices for certain fragrances after reviewing competitors’ prices. Examples include popular items Baccarat Rouge 540 (reduced the price by 20%) and Creed Aventus (reduced the price by 15%).

Collard says it’s too soon to report on the full impact the price decreases are having on sales or order values. “We look at this as a long-term strategy to help us gain market share and trust with consumers,” he says.

Collard says its customers embrace the “candy store mentality,” he says. “You have $40 to shop around and pick a number of things and try different things out.”


Black Friday and Cyber Week are part of the retailer’s holiday planning.

“We aren’t in brick and mortars, but then, they’re really not having those riotous openings rushing through the front doors as soon as they’re unlocked anymore,” Collard says. “But we want to appeal to shoppers during this period.”

Collard says MicroPerfumes releases special gift sets and plans to make exploratory shopping easier for customers.

“We’re going to put a lot more curated gift sets out,” Collard says. “Not just travel-spray sets but sample sizes.”


And the retailer plans to incentivize with discounts.

“It might be a discount because they’re buying a bundle or gift set,” he says. “People will be actively looking for good deals. With inflation and a looming recession, people want to feel like they’re getting a good deal.”

Long-haul customer retention

Collard says it is important to build up an email list. However, how the list is used, when and how often, are key.

“You don’t want to spam customers to the point where they unsubscribe,” he says. “That goes for SMS texting, which we use more so for marketing.”


So how does Collard know if it’s too much? He reviews Google Analytics data to see where customers are coming from. And when they want to start shopping.

“When we’re thinking about a flash sale or holiday promotions, we already know our shoppers want to get started earlier [throughout November],” he says. “We know that because delivery concerns are another reason shoppers make sure they buy with enough time before Christmas.”

Shipping leaves a lot of factors out of the hands of MicroPerfumes, Collard says.

“A lot of companies are in our situation,” he says. “When you find out USPS has put out their delivery projections and how delayed things are, it’s pushing the window earlier for a lot of ecommerce brands. A lot of DTC companies can’t ship in two days like Amazon.”


MicroPerfumes ships all its merchandise from its warehouse in California.

“Our shipping typically falls into a two- to three-day delivery window pretty much anywhere in America,” he says. “We’re pretty blessed with that, but we’ll see what that turns into this year and what USPS projections become closer to the holiday.”

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