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SmallBiz Interview with Margaret Chan of Cherry's Brandname Gallery

April 30th, 2010 | Interviews,Small Business,Small Business Tips | No Comments »

We here at KikScore came across Margaret Chan and Cherry’s Brandname Gallery on Twitter a few months back.  In 2008, Margaret launched an online shopping boutique for luxury goods, high-end skin care products and sleek fashion accessories.  She has a great small business story and some great thoughts for the community on selling online.

1. Tell us about Cherry’s Brandname Gallery and who you focuses on serving?

Cherry’s Brandname Gallery is a specialty store, offering an assortment of designer brands, such as Bottega Veneta, Christian Dior, Bvlgari, Juicy Couture, La Prairie and Tiffany, to our customers around the world. Throughout its stores in various URLs, Cherry’s Brandname Gallery presents its unique edit of the best in Jewelery, Cosmetics, Skin Care, Shoes & Accessories, and Home & Lifestyle from around the world. Founded in 2008, we now have stores strategically placed in various web locations operated by some of the most popular online commerce providers, including Bonanzle, eCrater, Atomic Mall, HighWire, Blujay, CQOut (UK) & Bidorbuy (South Africa).

Cherry’s Brandname Gallery is in the business of anticipating its customer needs and providing them with merchandise they cannot get elsewhere as well as the hottest products that are always sold out elsewhere. While most of the merchandise are brand new, a smaller portion of them is gently used because we found that around 20% of our customers are looking for this type of products due to the fact that the price is, to a greater extent, much lower and more affordable.

2. How did you get your started selling online?

With some successful selling experience at eBay around three years ago, I was encouraged to set up my own online stores, selling only authenticated designer products at the most competitive price I can offer. When I was selling at eBay, I found that a lot of people visited eBay because they wanted to find the best deals – the lowest-priced designer merchandise, for instance, Apple iPod, Gucci handbags and Tiffany jewelry – that they would love to buy. Although some of those products were really low in price, more and more buyers these days complained to eBay that they doubted some particular products they received were not authentic as described by the sellers. With this knowledge in mind, I believed that opening an online store selling authenticated designer products should be a good idea.

3. Where will Cherry’s Brandname Gallery
focus most of its energy in 2010?

In 2010, our main focus is on promoting our Jewelery section, particularly on Juicy Couture jewelry, in the hope that our customers discover a few of the many limited edition and hard-to-find collectibles we have scoured the Earth to find for them. From the limited edition charms and the latest designed necklaces, to the pre-release jewelry items and the retired bracelets, we hope all our customers find the year of 2010 as inspiring as we do. In order to make sure our marketing campaign is successful, we will make good use of various online advertising channels, such as Google Adwords, Yahoo Advertising and Twitter, to help us achieve our goal.

4. If you had 2 lessons learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what are those?

First of all, it is easy to start your online selling business, but to keep it running with optimal performance at all time is another matter. Similar to running your business with a physical store, good sales and marketing strategies are key to success.

Apart from that, customer’s satisfaction is also of utmost importance to online business. Exceptional customer service results in greater customer retention, which in turn results in higher profitability. We therefore strongly believe that customer loyalty is one of the most crucial and major contributors to sustainable profit growth. Over 60% of our profits are from customers who came back and made their purchases more than once within the 3-month period.

5. What do you see as 2 new trends in your business this year?

As the cost of running business with a physical store or office is comparatively high due to the monthly rental fee as well as the consumption of electricity and the hiring of manpower, more and more businesses like us tend to create their presence on the Internet. Some of them even stopped running their physical stores in order to focus mainly on their online selling business. Without a significant competitive advantage, a retailer will be forced to raise a white flag in this cruel and heartless battlefield.

To face this challenge, an increasing number of retailers have to offer discounts to attract their customers. In other words, buyers can find their best deals online much more easier because they are able to compare prices with other stores selling the same products on the Internet. However, I can see that the price of high-profile designer merchandise will not fluctuate too much as usual.

As we hold true to the ethos – quality, innovation and integrity, we try to make ourselves more competitive in the market by sourcing merchandise that is not commonly offered by our competitors instead. Most of our products are only available in 1-2 pieces per style because the supply of these pre-release and hard-to-find, retired items from our sources is very limited, to beginning with. Besides, we will ensure all the products sold to our customers are of the best quality. Last but not least, all products will be securely wrapped and packed so that they can arrive at our customers’ hands without damage after the long delivery process.

6. If your business/store could be any movie or movie character, what movie/movie character would it be and why?

I think Barbie is one of the best choices because she is a character who is very much aware of how she looks. In other words, she is a very fashion-conscious doll and cartoon character. Her wardrobe is full of all kinds of clothing, handbags and shoes. Her jewelry box contains a full range of luxurious jewelry. People just can’t imagine Barbie could afford wearing something with bad taste.

7. If Cherry’s Brandname Gallery could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?

For Cherry’s Brandname Gallery it would have to be Anne Hathaway because I believe she fits for the position very well. Many movie directors love to choose her to play the roles which require her to wear a lot of designer clothing and/or costumes of the most elegant styles. For instance, in her most recent role in the movie “Alice in Wonderland” in which she is the White Queen, we can see how lovely she appears to be in those gorgeous gowns and jewelry.

8. How do the folks at Cherry’s Brandname Gallery let loose after a busy day working?

All of us love fashion so going out for a drink and having a dinner together in order to share the hottest fashion tidbits we have ever known with each other are what we always do after a busy day working.

9. Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers and the small business community?

Small business community should consider making good use of the Internet to promote and run their business because the operating cost online is low when compared to the traditional business model. Besides, traffic flow on the Internet is definitely higher. Your business can reach thousands of millions of people who have Internet connection from around the world. If you know how to utilize those search engine optimization tools to promote your business, it will undoubtedly help you save a lot of money required to be spent on online advertisement.

We would like to thank Margaret for sitting down with KikScore.  If you have questions for Margaret, please leave them in the comments below.

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