Archive for March, 2011
I like shoes, nay…I am obsessed with shoes so I end up buying lots on eBay.
A friend of mine sent a link through from a Chinese seller of seemingly fabulous looking shoes and this was the link: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Show-Story-Shop
Oh dear, I thought – I am supposed to be saving money…oh well just one pair….
So I took at look at the size 7′s. I have wide feet as a general rule so always look for measurements on width and got a bit of a shock..
All of the shoes have a width of 7cm, regardless of being a size 3 or a size 7.5.
Unfortunately in the UK, length is the only standard for shoe size but these dimensions are crazy, but being a scientist I need to make sure this wasn’t just MY assumption. So upon going shopping I decided to visit Next and measure the width of a ‘normal’ size 7 shoe.
It was 9cm.
So upon getting home I started to madly measure shoe widths and yes, the smallest shoe width for a size 7 was just over 8cm for my rocket dog wedges.
Now, if this seller (and sellers similar) wanted to clean up with their cut price fancy shoes they really need to think about the product and sizing. These shoes are too narrow for the western market after a size 4 and they are limiting themselves to people with very narrow feet. My sister is one such person, however at a size 6, 7cm width is still too narrow to be able to feel comfortable or not stretch the shoes.
For comparison Japanese Zori at 23.5cm long (UK size 4) are about 8cm wide, smallest I have seen have been 7.5cm wide. Japanese kimono zori are suppose to be smaller as it is ‘iki’ or fashionable.
The moral of the story is to check your product is fit for your target market. No marketing strategy or SEO techniques will gloss over that one. If it looks like a shoe, it doesn’t mean it will function like a shoe for you. Another one is always read the description, I would have been red mad if I had brought a pair and missed the width sizing.
So, not blogging so much any more as I am busy with consulting, eBay designing and many other nuggets of business however I am actively promoting the on-line kimono community.
Many e-commerce retailers and suppliers try to get you to like them (with free stuff/competitions) and follow them on twitter (or create a trend) in order to get more exposure but this is basically empty marketing as if they don’t ‘win’ they don’t bother again or buy your service/products as they liked 20 other pages that day.
Successful brands/e-commerce retailers create a real community. Something you want to be part of that is above and beyond the offers and freebies.
It’s not e-commerce but with kimono de jack we are hell bent on getting more people interested in kimono, kitsuke (kimono dressing) and join in our events. Kimono lovers are sporadic and spread the world over but facebook and twitter bring them together and give them a place, excuse and company for their passion.
So if you are a retailer, how do you create a community? – Your aim is to get people to spend money but you need to give the love back. People love information, stories, discounts, insider information and to feel exclusive. Get people involved in any way you know how, its your business, your area, you have the 411! Be creative and innovative.
If your an e-commerce third party provide white papers on the industry on your facebook page, or organise e-commerce events for all and not just your customers.
If you are a retailer, impart your knowledge, exclusive reviews etc as you are an expert.
Most e-tailers are the bees knees in an area, so you can impart that knowledge to help buyers make better choices as well as building your profile.
Some e-tailers however (as a client once said ‘we just sell boxes, what’s in those boxes can vary’) shift boxes with no specialism. Social media and creating a community probably won’t work with you unless some consistency is found