A Cutting Edge Retail Model...With a Twist! PART 1

Hi everyone!

Well – what an exciting time – I am in the middle of it all right now! A Brand NEW, cutting edge internet/personal service footwear retail model! AND SO ARE YOU!!!

In years to come, I believe it will become a standard way to do business – but at the moment – it is cutting edge – and it is available NOW from Strathalbyn through to Victor Harbor.

I am a firm believer in technology insofar as it helps us. There have been so many fantastic inventions over the years that we would be silly not to choose those things which make our lives easier, safer, more comfortable etc. – who doesn’t have a microwave these days – even just for reheating that cold coffee! The internet is one of those things. And as a business person, I can’t ignore the opportunities offered and the threats posed to my business by the internet.

I have been a shoe fitter for nearly 20 years. Since starting my online store 18 months ago, I believe that I have enabled people all over Australia to have access to the benefits of my business – the quality, the niche of the brands I carry, the advice I can give because of my experience. But the internet can also free me up to do so much more for the broader community, whilst keeping my business available to everyone ALL THE TIME.

So far, there have been 2 camps as far as retailing is concerned. I am sure we have all heard Gerry Harvey’s take on internet purchasing – and yet he is building an online retail presence. You may well also have looked at Kogan’s site (he doesn’t have a shop). Both at each end of the spectrum as far as retail models are concerned. So – the 2 models are simply – internet businesses and local businesses – with some traditional combinations of the two.

Local businesses might have an internet site, but from a customer perspective, you probably browse on that and then go to them for more personal service. Lots of bigger internet businesses don’t have a place where you can go for face to face service, so the only alternative is dealing with them online. Each of these models can work for us depending on what we are buying and the level of service we expect or need at the time – but they are not always convenient, or they don’t always work to help the customer, no matter how much we try.

There is a great mix of customer types – and you can be any one of these at any given time – a browser – just passing time; a browser – thinking you will buy soon; a browser – at the beginning of the search; a buyer – but you don’t really know what you want/need; a buyer with a definite idea; a buyer with specific list of needs their purchased item has to meet; a buyer with lots of questions; a buyer who needs to talk to someone; a buyer who just wants what they had before, and so on. There are lots of different places on the “buying cycle” and we can be in any one of them at any given time.

So, for different purchases, you may need different levels of assistance – and that is why the two models – internet or shop – don’t always work – internet is 24/7 – great for browsing. Shops are only open certain hours – this can be limiting, we may not be able to get there when we need to. A phone conversation or an email question may not be enough – so this is where my new model comes in – a combination of the two…with a twist.

So far, I have had some great feedback from customers!

I will post the second part of this blog during the week…*Keep an eye out for it!*

Have a great week