Monday, March 31, 2008

The 3 P's: Product Price and Professionalism

I'm a member of several online communities, the topics range from sports, to fashion and everything in between. Recently on one of the message boards, a member spoke about the importance of "The 3 P's" : Product, Price and Professionalism. I read over the post a few times, realizing that someone had summed up the entire misson statement of my quest to business ownership using three simple words!

While in the planning stages of launching the boutique - I asked myself what I had to offer, what would set me apart from every other online boutique? How could I complete with major retailers? Or more popular start ups? In short, my outline spoke to The 3 P's: Product, Price and Professionalism.

1. Product:

At Oh So Chic!, I strive to bring only the best. I promised myself that I would never sell items that I myself would not wear. I can admit, in the beginning of my journey - finding vendors with the product quality I wanted to deliver was a bit of a challenge. There were/are absolutely some items, that upon receiving the shipment, I just sighed and said "Ugh! I can't sell this!" . I laugh at it now, but it certainly wasn't funny then! Talk about money being flushed down the drain! But my loss is someone elses gain, as I have donated some of those items, and plan on donating more in the near future! However, I feel confident now and going foward in knowing that I've established relationships, gained valuable experience and rest assured that the product I bring to my customers is not only trendy and chic - but quality!

2. Price:

The wonderful thing about operating an online storefront versus a brick & mortar storefront is that our overhead is so much lower. For some e-tailers, they may take this as an opportunity to charge the same prices as brick & mortars, even though our expenses are typically much less. I've made it my mission to stay competively priced. Certainly, no business in the world could survive by just giving things away - however, I always take my customer into consideration when establishing a price range. Every piece is priced fairly, competively and based on it's quality. You will not regret a purchase from Oh So Chic!

3. Professionalism:

I still maintain my full time job, and have worked in the same industry for 5 years. I've worked for one of the smaller companies in this industry, and one of the largest companies. I see first hand the importance of professionalism, customer service - and the direct impact it has on your ability to build relationships. I am an staunch believer in professionalism and quality customer care. In many cases, people are more apt to be loyal to quality service, than to any brand. This is why it is very important to me, to make sure that every one of my customers has as pleasureable an experience as possible. From the ease of site navigation, to order and fulfillment - shipping, and the follow up. I make it my business to respond to inquiries as quickly as possible, I may answer a dozen questions from one customer - who decides not to purchase. And that is still ok - they will always remember the service they received, even without making a purchase. I make myself open to answer questions that a customer may have regarding the sizing, there have been several instances where I've sent my own pictures to customers - just so they can get a visual of how a piece will look on an actual body! Every order I ship is wrapped as if it's a gift, a hand written Thank You card is tucked inside, along with a small gift as a token of my appreciation. I was recently asked by someone very close to me if I'd continue to do those "small" things once my business grew - I looked at him and said frankly "Why wouldn't I?". The smallest things often leave the biggest impact.

We are currently running a month long sale to celebrate the changing of the seasons! Stop by and check out our new arrivals, receive 15% off all order, and complimentary shipping by entering code "SpringFling" at check out!

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1 comment:

Posh Mama said...

This is such a wonderful article and I would really love to interview you about this topic on Posh Mama Online Magazine. If you are interested, please contact me.

Much love, xoxo-pm