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Juanita Neville-Te Rito

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    Hi there.
    Well done with having a clear plan and making this happen. Also it’s great you have made a start with FB and Insta. I agree with Andy above that you should look to get traction through the likes of http://www.chooice.co.nz and have a crack at some markets. I agree with all Andy’s comments so won’t repeat those.

    The big one for me is get yourself online. You have an aesthetic and super cool style but customers and potential stockists will want to go somewhere to see more. What is your range, your story, your vibe, your collection. This doesn’t have to be super complicated. There are simply templates that you can use through Wix or squarespace or put a call out on Manaaki to see if someone can help.

    Now is the time the get your product out as people are exploring their home and workspace, looking for ideas to tickle up their home (since they have been in them for so long with Covid). I’d also encourage you to contact commercial “like” businesses, eg, skate and surf stores re your seats and potentially cafes with the same vibe. They would make a super cool “waiting” chair near change rooms and also out the front while people wait for coffee’s and orders.

    Finally, have you contacted the local business association to see what they are doing to support fresh new businesses. All the very best.

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    Hi there.
    You have a lot of fabulous questions but more information is needed to help guide you in the right direction.
    – Do you manufacture the products yourself?
    – What category are the products (soft furnishings, technology, home appliances – you get the picture – that impacts what your wholesale price might be an expectations from retailer on mark-up.
    – Are you going to hire someone to be your agent to go store to store?
    – Are there going to be minimum order quantities and lead times before stores can get products – will they be easy to reorder?
    – Is there much competition in the market?
    – Why would a retail store want to stock your product? What problem do you solve?
    – Will you be providing merchandising support?
    – If you need an environment for customers to touch and feel, will there be an imperatives for the environment? eg. it needs power?

    There are a bunch of considerations before you enter this but it doesn’t ever stop you going and chatting to a few stores and asking them as well. The more conversations you have the better you can craft your offer for them. Depending on your product, many retailers may want to ensure they have exclusivity of some type for the area they operate in – so you need to think about making sure the retailer has the right “fit”.

    Good luck.

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    Hi Twyla,
    Just reconnect with whoever built your site. They should set it up for you. But you will need to give the the knowledge of what categories or genres you need. Copy another stores but you will know what works for how you sort your books:
    Fiction
    – Popular
    – Science
    – Romance
    etc, etc

    Non-Fiction
    Historical
    Business
    Wellness
    Cooking

    Kids
    etc etc

    You don’t have to be tech savvy but you do need to know your customer and how you think they go searching for books. That’s what makes you a book expert/retailer.

    Good luck.

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    Hi Twyla,
    Just reconnect with whoever built your site. They should set it up for you. But you will need to give the the knowledge of what categories or genres you need. Copy another stores but you will know what works for how you sort your books:
    Fiction
    – Popular
    – Science
    – Romance
    etc, etc

    Non-Fiction
    Historical
    Business
    Wellness
    Cooking

    Kids
    etc etc

    You don’t have to be tech savvy but you do need to know your customer and how you think they go searching for books. That’s what makes you a book expert/retailer.

    Good luck.

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    Hi there.
    I totally agree with Debra but can give you some more insight into traditional book search based on other book retailers we work with

    When a customer searches for a book you are either looking for:
    Specific book
    Specific author – or authors “like this” OR
    Genre

    The website you have is a simple scroll and doesn’t enable someone to easily find what they are seeking – or even cluster “like books” together.

    Even with second-hand book readers they are looking for a genre cluster so they can get to the heart to find the treasure. The search function doesn’t appear to work at all.

    I put in “Jane” as I can see there is a Jane Harper book, but when I press search, nothing comes up. This is going to inhibit the customer flow and your website should enable ease of shopping.

    You need to go back to your website structure and try and integrate some structure that means when you enter a book you can map it to genre, author and title at minimum for customers to easily locate. I would suggest this is a large part of why the site isn’t gaining tractions.

    Have a look at the search on https://www.hardtofind.co.nz/ – it shows the traditionally searched functions.

    Best of luck

    Juanita

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    Hi there,
    Welcome to alert level 2.

    A website is a great idea so what’s stopping you? You don’t know where to start? You don’t have the time?

    There are many ways to get going but you need to understand a few things first:
    1. What is your website going to for your business – what’s the purpose? Eg. are you going to sell stuff off it? Is it a way to share information and tell your stories? Is it for people to find out how to contact you?
    2. If you are going to sell stuff on it (a transactional site), are these products that require photography? If so, have you got the photography or how are you going to get those images? And the rich product descriptions need to be developed to explain your product/service to the customer.
    3. How often will you need to update these? Understanding the volume helps when deciding the type of website and CMS (customer management system) for your business.
    4. There are all the administrative elements you need to work our for getting your product to the shopper:
    – Are there delivery charges, picking and packing costs
    – Will you distribute locally, regionally, nationally, internationally
    – What’s your return process and policy
    5. Have you secured your URL (ie. the name of your business?) You can go to nz.godaddy.com and type in the names to see what is available. You can easily secure your domain name so the website can be built to the name which people will be able to easily search your business for.

    Setting up a website is not difficult but you need to have thought through some stuff before you can select which way to go.

    Doing a bit of upfront planning can help you select the right platform to DIY or find an expert to help (eg. Wix, Squarespace) and use Shopify for your transactional engine if you need one or select ready to go options such as:

    You would have seen Manaaki is offering 1000 free websites

    Enter your email to secure your free website and we’ll send you the details to get you up and selling online

    Zeald is offering to build 500 free sites for SMEs in NZ
    https://www.zeald.com/free-ecommerce-websites.html

    Westpac and MYOB are offering free website builds if you are a customer
    http://www.getonline.co.nz/

    What I always find helpful is finding some websites you think are good. Keep a note of them and why you like them. Also, look at your competitor’s sites to see what functionality they have. What do you like/don’t like? This isn’t to copy, but if you haven’t been involved in having a website built before it’s sometimes hard to describe what you need – and showing someone can often help bridge the gap.

    Good luck and remember planning is your friend so you get the outcome you want.

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    Hi The Outpost.

    I’ve just had a look at your website and you have a really good set-up and some lovely storytelling. However, when I go through to your Facebook page it’s not amplifying your story as well as your Instagram. The reason I looked there is I think you have a great opportunity with your range, values and philosophy to do digital marketing around your brand and products both internationally and nationally.

    The curated offer and story’s related to the products you sell are more relevant than ever in a society that has perhaps rethought the products we purchase and why.

    – Broaden your marketplace to explore digital marketing; especially around gifting and clean, green, “safe” NZ. This will be appealing in the international market. (But you have to have your international courier charges sorted)
    – Amplify the product storytelling so that shoppers are clear on what and how they are buying with purpose
    – Make sure all your products on the website have images – people buy with their eyes
    – Have you explored speaking with your database of customers to encourage repeat visitation
    – Explore likeminded business partnership where you could jointly market to customer databases of similar “values (obviously you need to do this correctly)
    – Could you sub-lease part of your store (sorry I don’t know the size) to share with another business that brings a like-minded customers (eg. the likes of a GoodFor or Huckleberry) – a different product with a higher frequency of visitation

    It’s going to be tough, I feel for you but it’s time to thing global differently. You go to the globe vs the globe coming to you. You have a delightful offer, people just need to know you exist which requires you to reach them digitally.

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    Hi Bonjour Havelock North,

    You are being way too hard on yourself. You have done a fine job and the site isn’t as bad as you think. Now it’s time to get ready for step two which is actually driving people to the site you have.

    1. You need your own URL. Go to https://nz.godaddy.com/ buy your URL (it’s about $40) and then you need to link this shopify site to it.
    That is how I am going to find you. If I google currently I only find FB links or https://website-2399549859189696907221-clothingstore.business.site/ which don’t link.
    – you need to drive traffic to your site now. You can trade so start generating cash.
    – use your social channels to engage and excite people. Your last few posts have been better. Don’t just put up images of stock, you need to wrap them in a proposition “what’s in it for me as a shopper.” What problem are you solving for the customer? Make them feel amazing, warm, stylish? Buy NZ made, an exclusive product, a gift solution/
    – Make sure you schedule posts more than once a week that is relevant and engaging but that drive customers to see out more.
    – Get your instagram up and running. FB allows you to post to both through their publishing tools
    – Check out https://www.adhoc.help/ FREE TUTORIALS

    2. Keep loading your product – if you need help to do this, as Annah said, reach out into the community. If you don’t have the cash to pay, pay them with product if you can’t find someone to do it pro bono.
    – Also, try http://www.fiverr.com and there are specialists from around the world that can help. Look for well-rated providers and Level 2 sellers and above. They are incredible and cheap as chips!

    YOU NEED TO PRIORITISE
    – What is going to generate cash so I can invest more in improving my business?
    – Next step would be the Brand and marketing communications plan – you need to be clear of your proposition and why customers should choose you
    – You are in a highly emotive category and you need shoppers to fall in love with your store/brand as well as the products. I can buy products anywhere so why choose you.

    ONCE YOU HAVE THAT SORTED
    – Then you can go to Phase 2 of your website. What you have is very useable right now. Getting a different solution what be any use until you have determined your positioning, branding and marketing communications.
    – A website is a system for organsing and communicating content. Until you have that content (stories, imagery, etc and a well-positioned) and a clear reason for being it’s just another piece of tech.

    Happy to talk further offline at juanita@retailx.co.nz

    Good luck. You have made a critical first step.

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    Hi there,

    If there is a period of time before your machines are activated for Paywave (most machines are compliant) then you should have a hand sanitiser beside the keypad and ask everyone to use it before and after their use of the machine.

    Regards

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    Hi there,
    Leslie is correct.

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    Hi Grant,
    The one thing you need to always remember is discounting is like a drug. In retail circles, we call it heroin. You get a hit, and then you want another hit and then another and you are in a never-ending cycling that you cannot stop.

    There are some incredible retailers who use discounting effectively (eg. Briscoes, Kathmandu, Rebel) but their strategies are interlinked to the fact they have a significant portion of their range as home-brand or they have complete vertical integration. Likewise, they manage the categories on discount and margin mix carefully.

    The rest of the retail world use discounting strategies, ideally, in a very considered way. Sometimes you do need it to try and activate or reactivate customers who have changed their behaviour. It might be linked to clearance or it may be part of a high-low approach.

    Now unless you have a specific strategy that utilises the above, now is not the time to start. What you were doing was working. So you need to do more of that and provide all the authentic, genuine and engaging reasons your customers want to shop with you.

    You have a database and hopefully, you have behavioural or basket level data from that. If you examine that you may be able to test some incentives to bring customers back to shop with offers that specific appeal to them. Sneakerheads may be related to an offer across a range or gift with purchase or related to different transaction types (eg. if we are hand to mouth with $$ Laybuy and Afterpay are perfect).

    If you don’t have a transactional e-commerce store you need it pronto. Shopify is outstanding and there are many other ways to achieve this. Shoppers habits have, are and will continue to change. They may come into the store and covert an item, only to get home and decide, “Yes I need that” so they can pop online, secure the product and have it in the hands a day or two after. Seamless.

    The other thing to consider if/when you do have an online store is to make sure you are managing the keywords on your site and Adwords to improve your search. This is an art and science but can be incredibly powerful to keep you on page 1 of Google. Just last night I decided I needed new shoes for my birthday next week and there were a specific Veja I wanted. I saw it online at one store but then did a Google search to see what else was available in case there was a different colour-way. Guess what? I actually bought it from a different online store.

    37 years is a long time to be in business. Customers clearly love you. Connect and tell that story. All of the best customer/retailer relationships are a balance of rationale, functional and emotional motivators. Make sure you communicate across those in a considered way.

    This is an incredible opportunity. Good luck.

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    Hi there

    There are many opportunities at your fingertips you need to evaluate and deploy if it’s right for your business:

    – One of the things you can do to help with the customer journey is to consider alternative payment terms.
    – Do you currently offer Afterpay, Laybuy or any of the other buy now pay later offers? There is an additional charge for them but it is a way that could potentially help everyday customers get the product they are looking for.
    – From the corporate and club perspective, helping them with payment terms is another way to lessen and manage their cashflow.

    So that’s the practical stuff, but the critical thing to do right now is to connect. In every relationship, there are functional, rational and emotional drivers why they choose you.
    – If you have 121 relationships with organisations, make sure you put a phone call into them and check how they are doing.
    – Listen to their concerns and challenges and new ideas may sprout from how you can assist them. But what you are doing, more importantly, is being a partner. And those are the relationships that will last beyond this.
    – Think about what content you could help produce to solve their needs. They may need new ways to connect with their communities where you could be the conduit from a transactional platform to who knows what.
    – With the corporate sector, there is an opportunity to continue to share how important our staff. Honouring them includes making sure they wear their brand proudly, so you can continue to share information such as this to remind business owners and decision-makers that we need ensure our teams have uniforms and apparel that fit, is purposeful and as we move into winter, keeps them warm.
    – Consider with the 121 relationships that you might now need to work more closely to innovate on new and different apparel solutions. They might be cutting back costs so is their different solutions, materials, designs that can help you both get a win/win so they don’t simply go “shopping their business” to get cheap stuff vs. value for money.

    Good luck.

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    Nice work guys. Make sure you get onto LinkedIn and share. There are a number of apps entering this space in the last few weeks and retailers are making decisions now.

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    Hi there.
    There are a number of things you may have already done but it’s worth revisiting the list:
    – How have discussions gone with your landlord on rate abatement/rent relief? Have they provided any support?
    This is always your first port of call, having an open and honest conversation with your landlord on options.
    – Have you reduced all your other overheads to free up cash? Cash is king right now so you need to find channels of credit if you don’t have cash reserves. Make sure you cut all the none essentials immediately.
    – Have you reached out to your bank for business continuity support or any restructuring you can do? This is also a critical option for you.

    As we move from Tier 4 to tier 3 in the foreseeable future:
    – how are you set-up for click and collect, online retailing, etc?
    – If you reach out to your customer base you can still help serve their needs through those alternative channels.
    – Have you been keeping in touch with your customer base? If not how can you so you have people ready to engage and spend with you when you can trade again.

    Do you want to continue trading? It’s an important question. Over the coming weeks, there could be more good news or (god forbid) more bad news. What we know is that lots will change and this isn’t going to pass quickly, so look for the opportunities.

    This is tough, and it’s scary and often you can’t see the woods for the trees. But sit down and make sure you have a plan and a list. I have a very comprehensive one I can send you if you like, just contact me at juanita@retailx.co.nz

    Good luck.