Tag Archives: online shopping

Australia post prices have increased

Just a quick message to anyone who currently sells online or is thinking of selling via an e store.

Australia Post has increased it’s postage fees. Make sure you check what you are charging for postage and see that you are still covered. Their online calculater will help you determine basic prices for your goods.

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Taking the etsy taste test and what it can teach you

I’m trying hard to make more of my purchases from independent designers/makers and crafters.
With so many people from across the world supporting my small business I feel I should return the favour as often as I am able.
One of my favorite places to make purchases is etsy. While it can be a treasure trove of wonder it is hard to wade through or the less than inspiring designs and objects for sale.
Recently I have discovered their taste test tool. From a selection of images you select 9 which you like. This then generates into pages of goods for you to peruse.
The first night I did it was a bit dangerous for my bank account as I found this

 

And after that decided I should look and not buy just yet until I save up a wish list of special items.
Not only is it fun for shopping I think it’s a great way to connect with your target market. Take the test as if you are your target market and see what it suggests. Are there plenty of designers who’s offering is similar to your yours? Are you under or over pricing yourself?
So take the taste test and do some research ….and perhaps some shopping too?

Christmas is coming are you prepared to sell?

This month may be past the mid point of the year but if you want to be prepared and make the most of this Christmas and the shopping that comes with that, then you need to start planning now.
No matter if you are selling wholesale, retail, at the markets or online Christmas is a great opportunity to bring in those much needed sales. Remember in order to have a successful business you must sell.
Do you have a Christmas sales plan? Did you have one in previous years and have some great tips to share? Add them in the comments would love to hear from you.

Next post I’ll be back with more on how you can make the most out of Christmas.

Helping independent labels

Last week I spoke about my disappointing trip to Oxford st and Paddington markets, then later in the week I was searching for a present. I wanted it to be handmade, interesting and hopefully supporting someone starting out their label.

That was a tough find. I started with etsy and quickly got put off by the masses of really bad stuff on there (don’t get me wrong some amazing works there too but I didn’t have endless hours to trawl through all the bad to find the good). Then I tried the local stores but everything was all mass produced and then I went back to searching on the net and it went on and on and I gave up twice then saw a picture on a blog (when I was totally looking for something else) and finally got what I wanted (oddly enough from etsy!).

the present I was looking for!

All of this made me think “how can I help?” so to start with I’m going to add a side bar to the front page that links to independent labels online stores.

So if you are reading this and you make your own product please leave a comment and I can add you to the list so we can help others find you too.

Oxford st and the Paddington markets

On Saturday we took a walk up Oxford St to the Paddington markets. These are my closest markets yet I rarely get a chance to go as I am so often working on a Saturday.

However it was a warm sunny winter day and we thought it would be a nice morning out.

On the way up it was disappointing to see empty shops, shops closing down and even those who were having half yearly sales looked like they were doing the very bare minimum when it came to window display and instore presence.

There were even shop assistants standing in the doorways smoking and making it so you would have had to ask them to move put of the way for you to get into the store.

All in all it was really depressing and certainly not encouraging anyone to go in and spend money.

The most saddening part was that the markets were even worse!

Lots of empty spaces, less than a handful of stalls to get food ( what happened to the great vegetarian pastry place???) many stalls which are exactly the same as they have been for the last 15 years.

It was dull, the stock was set out in the most uninspiring ways and clothing wise you choose from childrenswear, designs that look like they were imported cheap from China or middle aged womenswear.

The entire street and the markets all  seem to be scraping by on the glory they used to have. It was not the vibrant happening fashion centre it used to be.

How did this happen?

– Bondi Junction was redeveloped with a Westfield
– the city was redeveloped with a Westfield
– some of the designer stores moved out, some replaced with bargain basement fashion or even worse seconds stores
– rents staid high
– the markets are content with their regulars and not taking on enough new designers

But it is also more than outside factors it’s also

– the shops aren’t trying. I mean designer stores whose mid year sales are advertised with signs it looks like you created in word and printed on your home printer?
– complete lack of exciting design of windows or instore display
– staff who don’t care. When you do walk in they don’t talk to you and that’s when you can get past them smoking at the front door
– not enough food places that are interesting enough to get people to come for breakfast/brunch/lunch and then go shopping

I’d really love Sydney to have a more vital retail scene that can sustain emerging and existing designers that is exciting to go to and makes you want to spend money. Apart from twice yearly markets like the Finders Keepers we don’t have that at the moment.
Let’s hope councils, store owners and designers cam get together and come up with more ways to make this happen or the homogeneity of fashion will continue as everyone just shops from the very basic big name chain stores as they don’t know where else to go?

5 things Friday – FREE information at your fingertips

I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing what is going on in the world around you. Not only will it make you a better designer but it will make you a better business person.

Each morning take a look at the news online and don’t just read the celebrity gossip look for articles about the retail sector, things that are influencing people and what people are spending their money on. All of this impacts you, the more you know about it the more you can ensure that you are not going to get caught short when the market shifts.

Here are some I found this week, all from the Sydney Morning Herald which is FREE online and gives a wealth of information.

Lady GaGa was in town so teenagers were dressing up as their fashion idol. From the Sydney Morning Herald.

image via Sydney Morning Herald

How new business models are leaving some businesses out in the cold. From the Sydney Morning Herald.

News that David Jones is struggling with sales. From the Sydney Morning Herald.

Retail in a slump. From the Sydney Morning Herald.

An Aussie success story. From the Sydney Morning Herald.

All these articles are easily available so each day, start taking the time to have a look around you, absorb the information and think “how does this affect my brand”.

Why do brands make it so hard to buy online?

Recently I have been trying to buy a pair of winter boots.

The boots I want to buy

The ones I want are out of the USA and are specific cold weather boots. My feet freeze here and with a UK Christmas coming up wanted to get them now for our winter as well. They have a shop function on their website. So far this is the story of my boots

– found boots, liked them wanted to buy them

– website does not ship to Australia

– website has no information for Australian distributers

– email site and ask why I can’t buy the shoes online

-receive message back saying I can’t buy online “because it is summer”

– email site and say “what???” and ask for Australian distributer information

–get Australian distributer information. Call distributer, phone number does not work. Check distributers website, site under construction no contact information of any kind on website

– email USA site back again explaining the above. Get 2 more phone numbers and email addresses to try as USA company not quite sure if the distributers are still the distributers?

– email Australian distributers, some of the emails bounce back

– get email from Australian distributers with an address of a place here in Sydney who are meant to have stock but the distributers are unsure if they do have stock or not?

– go instore, they don’t have my size in Australia

– try USA website again, try to purchase using my PayPal account they won’t accept any PayPal not registered in the USA

– try to pay by credit card, they want me to become a “member” and create a login. Asking me all kinds of questions

– now have to re log into website as a “member” have to reselect the boots I want to purchase, fill in shipping information to my friend who lives in the USA. They will not let you purchase until you provide full address and phone number (I don’t have her number as I use Skype to call her, it’s 4am there so can’t contact her to get all the correct details).

– boots still not purchased and this whole process has taken more than 3 weeks.

So despite the fact I still don’t have my boots can you see just how bad this business is? I want to give them money and yet they have done everything possible to make it impossible for me to give it to them.

For everyone who is selling online take a look at your processes, anything that is an impediment to your customer giving you money get rid of it. Make the process as simple as possible. Trust me your customer will thank you for it!

 

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