Hello everyone! Zarte here! Give me a moment, I’ll be with you as soon as I’ve counted all these 1p coins into the little bags.
Why am I doing that? Well because we were told recently by a potential customer that people who make their purchases online are all cheapskates! So I felt I best act up to the branding, because I for one am delighted to be an online shopper.
I mean, why wouldn’t you be? The dawn of online shopping has brought with it so much more freedom. Being able to pay for things when you need them, and being able to pay to have them even quicker if you need to. Being able to see what people have thought about the products you’re looking at, and being able to share your own experiences of things in return. Being able to avoid going in and out of shops all day on a busy weekend, but equally, having more choice than ever to shop around. And yes, make no bones about it, sometimes shopping around can mean looking for the best price. But sometimes, it can mean looking for reassurance, or looking for something that gives off an impression of quality.
Let me give you some context, so this looks like the genuine constructive advice that it is, and not just a rant:
The individual I mentioned previously has a website. We approached them about whether they would be interested in improving their website so it looked more up to date – and worked harder for them. They sell a product – for the sake of giving you a picture, let’s say they sell fridges and freezers (They absolutely don’t, this is purely for narrative purposes). Whilst you can buy the fridges and freezers that they sell from your generic major retailer, that major retailer will boost the price through delivery, installation, warranties etc. and may not offer other elements, such as fitting, removal of an old appliance and so on. In essence, what this man is doing, is providing a high-quality, start-to-finish service.
And you know what, that’s something that sounds right up the street of myself as an online shopper. I’m a bit tired of having an appliance dumped on my front doorstep, and then having to organise how on earth we’re going to get it in, and get the thing it’s replacing out. I love the idea of someone taking all that stress off my hands.
However if I’m trying to avoid having to go out and brave the big, busy world on a weekend, then I’m not going to be using this chap. Inevitably, I will settle for second best, because of the ease of access.
What might swing it for me, would be if someone sold themselves really well with their website. If that high-quality product extended across the website and gave me confidence about the brand I was buying, then I might make that trip. Or at the very least call them and ask them to come out to have a chat.
But that was the real kicker with this gentleman’s website. This high-quality, “you get what you pay for” service’s website was... poor. It was wonky – it had been thrown together in a couple of hours by one of his family members, and why? Because he had this view of online shoppers as cheapskates... so didn’t want to put money into it. He had, himself cheapened his own business through his misconception about his target market. And to top that off, what was all over the website? Special offers, “Managers’ specials”, promotions. All the sorts of things that do NOT lead you to think of a high-quality service. A high quality service would also not still be advertising their Easter sale, in the middle of July.
Following a chat about these things, he actually agreed that this might be worth further discussion, so there could yet be a happy ending for him and his “fridges and freezers” – but there are two important lessons that we think people could do with learning from this. Firstly, understand what online shopping is about, and why, whatever your target market, it’s likely to have an application to your business. Secondly, make sure that your business’ website reflects your business model. Don’t try and market yourself as a high-end independent retailer, if your website is going to be designed in a weekend.
Any thoughts on this? Let us know, we do love a chat.
Until next time,