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Posts Tagged ‘online sales’

6 Steps to Protecting Yourself When Shopping Online This Upcoming Holiday Season

Monday, November 14th, 2011

It’s holiday season again and I’m sure people are already starting to shop for gifts. If you’re buying online, check out these 6 tips to help you out and increase your chances of having a “safe” shopping experience:

  1. Research the company. Who are the owners? Is it a successful businesswoman from Texas or a teenager living in China? Take a few minutes and check out on the website who is actually behind the business and who operates the website.  Click to the “About Us” page or “Contact Us” page and see if there are some actual names listed on the website.  Then drop some of those names quickly into Google or Bing and search on those names.  What comes up about them?
  2. Find out where their servers are located. Are they based in France, but have a server in Ohio? (You’re probably alright with a company like this) or are they based in England and have a server in Somalia (this should send up a red flag.)  Also, make sure to check out where their website is hosted. Here is a great tool to use to look up domain owners here. It is called Domain Tools. I use it all the time when I am shopping.
  3. Check their website thoroughly. Is there anything in their wording that seems fishy? Are there typos on the website or does the footer of the website say copyright 2002? Does calling that phone number give you someone asking for your pizza order? Confirm that the business is legitimate before buying that scarf for Aunt Joan. Perhaps this post on how to make online websites look credible will help you see what to look for when you are reviewing the four corners of an online store or service business?
  4. Is the business on any Social Networks? Being on social networks like Twitter and Facebook can show that a company is willing to have some transparency when dealing with customers. What type of personality does the business have online? Does it come off as a company that you don’t want to do business with?  Check their Twitter stream or Facebook page and see do they respond to customers or is there just a username set up and just “dead air.”  If you see some level of engagement, that is a good sign.
  5. What are people saying about the businessonline? Most companies will have some type of reviews of them online.  What are people saying about them in these reviews? How about their products, customer service and delivery times?  Can you really trust those reviews? If the reviews sound fake, you might want to check into the company a bit more. Remember our post on how to spot fake reviews? It’ll help!
  6. Do they have a trust seal or an ssl certificate? When you are reviewing a website you are about to buy from check out whether they have an SSL certificate meaning that your communications of your credit card information is encrypted from your browser to the company’s browser.  Also look to see if the business has any trust seals and in particular click on those trust seals and see what they say about the business.  The sites that have trust seals that actually give you more information about the business management team, their track record of financial health and information on customer service, return and privacy policies will give you even more transparency into who you are buying from over this holiday season.

Good luck and stay safe when shopping online!  Also let us know if you have any safe shopping tips.

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Posts Tagged ‘online sales’

Online Business – Necessity Or Luxury?

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Is your favorite restaurant or local boutique online?    Would you be more likely to purchase something from the local boutique if you could order the latest chenille scarf from your bedside table?

Website hosting companies such as Shopster have made it very simplistic to create a new website and start selling online in minutes.   Having an online site builds trust between consumer and merchant because it can allow a browse before you buy (or eat).   Yet there are still a great number of local restaurants and shops that are reluctant… why?

With the boom of social media, not having a site could be detrimental to your company’s future success.

There are other ways to be active in the online community without a dedicated ‘full’ website.   Creating a dedicated company blog promotes trust and transparency by sharing your company values, and can be done without a full website.

You may think if you only have one or two items to sell, a website is overkill. Even if it’s just one product (such as this unique product for avid boaters –TuftedTopper), the mass consumer base enjoys the convenience of online purchasing. As a merchant, you need to determine what drives the intrigue in your product base.

You’re here reading this, do you have an online business?

How have you built trust and transparency between yourself and your consumers to create repeat customers?

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Posts Tagged ‘online sales’

KikScore interviews Virna Lisa, creator of RedBud Body Care

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Virna Lisa , shares with KikScore the history of RedBud Body Care and her unique approach to small business. Virna is truly an inspiration not only to women in business but more importantly to the inner strength of women overall!

Redbud Body Care was named after the Eastern Redbud Tree found in North America. The uniqueness of this Tree is how the flower buds shoot directly from the bark. The flowers are also edible and contain health enriching anti-oxidants.

1. Tell us about RedBud Beauty and who you focus on serving?

Our philosophy is based on the Ayurvedic principle that whatever we put on our skin should be good enough to eat. In addition to the freshness of the product we take into account that every one’s constitutions and predispositions are drawn towards particular scents and textures. RedBud Body Care respects the truth that nature provides us with all that we need to stay in healthy rhythms with ourselves and the world around us.
In support of eco awareness and upholding standards that sustain our planet, we use organic ingredients, glass containers, recycle and compost our soil enriching ingredients.
This product is good for everyone. Take into account that some people have allergies to certain flowers and herbs.  First do a test patch on the inside of your wrist before using.

2. How did you get started selling RedBud Beauty products online?

The business was first introduced on Shustir.com and then posted on a partnering website that sells products to Yoga Studios, Spas and Yogi’s & Yogini’s.  We are already selling our products in a few venues right now that were generated through Redbud Body Care directly.

3. Where will RedBud Beauty focus most of its energy in 2010?

Our focus is getting the name Redbud Body Care out to the public via the internet since so many folks do their shopping online.  We would like to have the product out regionally and then move to a national market.  Redbud Body Care is also working with Eco Yoga (TM) which is another business I own.  Yoga & Ayurveda are sister sciences so the businesses dovetail nicely.

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

Being in business for yourself can get daunting, I always try to remember to do nice things for myself, like walks out in nature, warm baths with yummy herbal infused oils (that RB sells) and spending time with people that believe in your mission.  Support in a new venture takes a lot of support.  Take advice from people that have been there before you and have something of value to add to the company.

5. As 2010 begins, what do you see as 2 new trends in your business this year?

The small business market has an incredible opportunity to make a mark for itself in this market.  Big business is struggling with their big budgets.  Creating handcrafted products that are of great value to the customer as well as the public at large is in demand.  People want to feel like they are getting their money’s worth.  I also think that the Green movement is finally to take the market by storm.  We have to take into consideration how we spend our money in the business so that it supports the market as well as the planet.

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

This one is tricky since it’s still in its infancy stage.  I was once told by Horst Rechelbacher that a business is like a baby that needs to be nourished.  I am not sure what it is going to grow up and be.  I would want RB to grow up to be an inspiration for others a source of wisdom and leadership.  I’ll have to work on this vision and get back to you when it gets into the teen age.

7. If RedBud Beauty could have a token spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?

I would love to have Oprah be it’s spokesperson because she is a beacon of hope in my eyes.  She has overcome so many obstacles and has risen to incredible heights.  If I ever meet her I’d thank her for her leadership and tenacity.

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

To quote Hillel “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, than what I am? If not now, when?” We must believe in ourselves, love ourselves and try our best to live the dream we embody. Having said that I believe it’s important to have some kind of spiritual grounding that creates community as opposed to separating us.

Thanks again Virna and best of luck to RedBud Beauty!

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Small Business Interview with CardSauce.com owner Kevin Hoyle

Monday, February 15th, 2010

sauceIt’s February 15th… How did you celebrate the weekend with your Special Valentine?   Chances are high you sent or gave a card.  So, how long did you stand there in the card aisle, climbing over other sentiment seekers, trying to find the perfect one?  Our KikScore interview today is with a unique online card company that not only offers one of a kind designs and sentiments, but will also print and mail it for you! CardSauce has surely spiced up the greeting card industry and we are excited that owner Kevin Hoyle took the time to share his story.

1. Tell us about CardSauce.com and who you focus on serving?
CardSauce.com.comis a new online hub for quality, physical greeting cards and we’re here to spice-up the industry by offering a unique, user-driven experience! At CardSauce.com, we cater to…
– Buyers: When a customer places an order, we print the card(s) and mail it to the recipient(s) for them.
Sellers: Artists (or graphic designer, photographer, etc) have the opportunity to upload original sauces (greeting cards) and sell them. Each time an artist’s design is purchased, he/she makes $1. It’s a true user-driven experience. While we do feature some original CardSauce.com designs, the cards featured are mainly “by the people, for the people”.

2. How did you get started selling online?
When the amount of times I found myself staring at unoriginal, unexciting cards at traditional stores and reseller outlets began to add up. I realized I was spending more time looking for an appealing card than I was on celebrating the actual event that the card was intended for. So I thought, why not move the future of greeting cards away from the mainstream corporations and place it into the hands of everyday people like you and me? Whether physical greeting cards are given to remind of an old memory shared, create a new memory, serve as inspiration, or spark a laugh, they all serve a common purpose: to relate or connect in some way to the recipient. So by allowing everyone and anyone the opportunity to create and sell original designs – not only does it generate creative cards for buyers to choose from – but it adds a level of authenticity to the industry as well. Sellers from various backgrounds, cultures, religions, etc can put a little piece of their life into their designs – building a portfolio of cards that offers something for everyone.

Why is CardSauce.com physically online, you may ask?  Well, in addition to it being more cost-effective to start (I’m a “one-man-band” with limited funding), it adds convenience for buyers and sellers.  Buyers can quickly browse the database of designs by category or key word, and can purchase and send cards from the comfort of their own home (plus let’s face it… gas money and stamps add up).  Meanwhile, sellers can pursue a hobby they may not have otherwise had the opportunity to pursue – all while making a profit, or royalties, on each sale.

3. Where will CardSauce.com focus most of its energy in 2010?
In 2008 we focused our resources on web development and software.  Once CardSauce.com went live to the public in 2009, we realized we were not yet where we wanted to be and continued our focus on site enhancements.  Now that we feel comfortable with our offering from a web standpoint, we’ll focus our energy toward generating awareness and site traffic in 2010 – while continuing to enhance our core offerings.


4. If you had 2 lessons learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what are those?
My two lessons would be more about business start-up than CardSauce.com.  First and foremost, technology – computers and the web in particular – is not as accommodating as people may assume. Sure, technology continues to advance at an incredibly fast rate and there are gadgets and software that exist today that people never assumed possible.   But that doesn’t mean you can “do whatever you want” with a website (remember, I’m not the IT guy here).

When I was first scoping out my idea to potential web developers, I lost count of the amount of times I heard “that’s not doable”, “there’s no way to build that”, or “we can do that, but it’s going to be incredibly time-consuming and will cost you thousands of dollars”. I essentially had to change the blueprints of the website throughout the process and it was very educational.  Things seemingly as simple as having PayPal split a single payment to two recipients is not doable, and that altered the entire make-up of the CardSauce.com checkout process.  It’s really incredible – though sometimes it causes some road bumps.

The second lesson I learned is don’t rush it, no matter what “it” is!  For example: Card Sauce, Inc. was incorporated in the fall of 2007 based on expectations set by my original web developer that the site would go live to the public within the next four months.  The site didn’t go live to the public until the summer of 2009! That’s two years of paying federal and state taxes without any source of revenue… NOT cool! 

Another example is when CardSauce.com.com finally did go live in June of 2009, it was not ready from a visual standpoint or a functional standpoint.  I was forced to hire on a new web developer and start from the ground up behind the scenes, while the original site just kind of took up real-estate on the web. With first impressions being so powerful, it’s important to capitalize on potential customers (buyers and sellers) immediately and we were unable to do that. There’s no telling how much business we lost in those early months.


5. As 2010 begins, what do you see as 2 new trends in your business this year?
Growth and revenue. With ’08 and ’09 being all about web development and 2010 being all about generating awareness and site traffic, it’s difficult to imagine any other trend(s) taking over one of the top two spots.

6. If your business/store could be any movie or movie character, what movie/movie character would it be and why?
Great question; I think I’ll go with Finding Nemo.  With industry powerhouses like Hallmark and American Greeting Corp. around, CardSauce.com is a classic “little fish trying to make it in a big pond” scenario – but in the end I think we’ll be able to pull it off.

7. If CardSauce.com could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?
Not really sure; greeting cards aren’t exactly the type of product or gift that fall into the “seeking celebrity endorsements” category. I’d imagine we’d probably work the humor angle and find someone witty and original to exemplify the user-generated designs available for purchase.

8. How do the folks at CardSauce.com let loose after a busy day working?
Well, I’m currently operating a “one-man-band” that is only just beginning to focus on generating awareness and site traffic (revenue), remember? So, until CardSauce.com starts to pick up, it is my “after hours” gig. I currently work full-time during the day and spend many a late nights trying to perfect the sauce. When I’m not working, I enjoy letting loose in a variety of ways – whether it be dabbling in some physical activity (the gym, ice hockey, etc) or a frosty beverage with friends/family. Now that it’s ski/snowboard season here in Boston, I hope to be able to make a few treks north as well.

9. Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers and the small business community?
Only to support the CardSauce.com revolution and buy your quality, physical greeting cards online, of course!

So, get out the calendar, outline your greeting card list this year and surprise someone with a unique CardSauce.com design! And, share your spokesperson ideas with Kevin and CardSauce.

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Posts Tagged ‘online sales’

Small Businesses and Online Stores, Social Commerce Camp DC is for You

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Have you been looking for a FREE educational  grassroots event for small businesses, online store owners and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses? Look no further because on Saturday, February 20, 2010 KikScore, MyBusinessAssistant.com, Network Solutions and Mayer Brown will be putting on a first of its kind event in Washington DC.

Introducing Social Commerce Camp DC! This event is especially geared for small businesses, online merchants and entrepreneurs who want to get online and grow their business.  The morning long session will be moderated by Network Solutions Social Media Swami, Shashi Bellamkonda and will feature speakers that will focus on discussing real and practical ways of building and growing a small business.  During the Social Commerce Camp DC, we will be engaging in an interactive discussion of new and effective ways that online stores and small businesses can use social media, marketing, and PR to succeed online, build your brand,  get more customers and manage your business reputation.  The event will also feature quality time to network with other owners of online stores, small businesses, social media strategists and overall just some good people trying to avoid watching cartoons on a Saturday morning!

Here is the agenda for Social Commerce Camp DC on February 20, 2010:

8 a.m to 9 a.m:  Continental breakfast, registration and networking

9 a.m to 9.45 :  Session 1 – Social Media 101 for small business and discussion of real success stories

10.00 to 10.45 :  Session 2 – Starting and growing your online store/business

10.45 to 11.15 :  Check your Twitter account/ blogging time

11.15 to Noon :  Session 3 – PR tips and best practices for small business

Mayer Brown’s offices located at 1999 K Street NW, Washington DC 20006 will be hosting Social Commerce Camp DC.

We look forward to you joining us.  Registration details for Social Commerce DC can be found here. Also because Social Commerce Camp DC is a grassroots event that is serving ecommerce merchants and small businesses, let us know your thoughts on subject matter, topics or questions you would like answered at Social Commerce Camp DC. We will work to get them addressed that morning.

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Small Biz interview with Little Duck Organics owner Zak Normandin

Monday, January 25th, 2010

LDO LogoToday’s KikScore interview is with Zak Normandin, owner of Little Duck Organicsa unique and tasty organic snack food for infants and toddlers – and adults too!  We came across Zak and Little Duck Organics on Twitter where Zak and team are actively promoting their yummy organic treats.  Little Duck Organics is relatively new to the online community and shares a passion for the world of small business and bringing a much needed product to the organic conscious community.  I had the pleasure of talking for awhile with Zak and sharing startup ideas and promotional concepts.  Thanks for your insight Zak and for being a KikScore customer!

1. Tell us about Little Duck Organics and who you focus on serving?

Little Duck Organics is a business that I started developing in February of 2009. My wife and I have always been a fan of all natural/organic/locally produced products, and when we went food shopping for our daughters we really didn’t see anything like that available in the baby aisle. Most of the products that were available contained added sugars, artificial flavors, and preservatives which we preferred not to feed to our kids. When we talked to other parents, they agreed that there was definitely a lack of wholesome, nutritious products available for babies. At the time, I was looking for a new venture to invest in, so I started researching what it would take to bring an organic line of baby products to market. It took me about 10 months to design our first line of products and arrange to have it manufactured and packaged. In December of 2009, we formally launched on Amazon.com and at independent grocery stores in New Hampshire.

2. How did you get started with selling online?

One of our first customers was Amazon.com. They started buying products from us in December to sell through their online grocery division. This was the first experience that we had with selling products online. At the beginning of this month (January), we set up our own online store to begin selling Little Duck snacks directly to customers through our website. This allowed us to have a little bit more control over product placement, descriptions, Etc. Overall, the experience has been great. We’re focusing now on increasing our conversion rate and finding new ways to advertise to potential customers.

3. Where will Little Duck Organics focus most of its energy in 2010?

In 2010, our goals will be to expand our retail and online distribution channels and develop the Little Duck Organics brand. One of our main focuses will be to build customer loyalty and awareness within the baby products niche. We will be working closely with the blogging community, and plan to do a lot of traveling to sample our products at retail stores. In addition, we’re planning on introducing two new products later this year that will compliment our current line of products.

4. If you had 1 lesson that you learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what would it be?

The biggest lesson that I have learned so far since we set up our online store is that you need to be very aware and organized with all of the external costs associated with selling a product through a website. Credit card fees, boxes, packing materials & shipping costs all add up with you are selling a product with a low retail price. You need to keep these things in mind and adjust your prices accordingly so that what you are offering to customers is still attractively priced.

5. As 2010 begins, what trends do you see in your business this year?

As far as trending goes in the organic baby sector, I think that there will be more of a shift from the conventional baby food companies to upgrade their product lines to incorporate more natural/organic options. Fortunately for us, Gerber will always be Gerber and Beech-Nut will always be Beech-Nut. No matter how they market their products, they will always have the same brand-association in the mind of most consumers. Our advantage is that we were able to start from ground zero and build a brand around a mindset (Creating delicious organic baby snacks with no preservatives or additives).

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

I’ve always loved the movie “Click” with Adam Sandler. I really relate to his character, and although the movie does not directly relate to Little Duck Organics, I can see a lot of similarities between the story-line and our business. For anyone who has not seen the film, the main character is an architect who has the ability to fast forward his life to critical points of success. Basically, he does not want to have to go through the mundane and only wants to experience the promotions, bonuses, success Etc. I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone who has not seen it, but at the end Sandler learns to appreciate his family, friends, and the journey of life more than he previously had. I’m making a big effort to do the same in my life and at Little Duck Organics this year. I need to enjoy the process of building the business and everything that comes along with it. We’re doing something that most people only dream of , and that in itself should be viewed as an accomplishment.

7. If Little Duck Organics could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?

I can’t think of anyone specific off the top of my head, but it would have to be a celebrity or someone famous who has the same mindset as our company. I would prefer a mom who understands the value in feeding wholesome organic foods to their children.

8. How do the folks at Little Duck Organics let loose after a busy day working?

Although most of my time is spent building the business, It is nice to wind down after a long day at work. At home, I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughters. We love trying out new foods and traveling. In the summer, we usually go for a walk every night with our dog. My older daughter loves helping me cook, so I try to do that with her whenever I can. At three years old, she can already make a mean Alfredo sauce 🙂

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

Know your competition, Work your butt off, Pray for luck.  Cheers!

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What to Think About When Your Business Starts to Think Globally

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

continentalEcommerce…by definition it’s easily accessible by almost anyone.  With no geographic boundaries that restrict a shopper’s interest your product or service, once you start selling online, you technically have an international business.  But what should you keep in mind when you do start actively reaching out to international customers?  First, you must be able to speak with an outrageous french accent.  No wait, that’s if you’re searching for the Holy Grail.  Here are a list of some things to think about:

1.  Will you sell to any potential buyer, no matter the destination?  Sounds like an odd question, but there are a list of countries that have a significantly higher  rate of shopper fraud.  In a not-so-recent article from PraticalEcommerce, a few online sellers were featured and they decided not to sell or ship to any orders from Venezuela, Indonesia or Nigeria due to the increased risk of fraud.  Also, if you’re a U.S. based business, don’t forget about the list of countries identified by the Treasury Department that U.S. businesses are prohibited from doing business with (e.g. Cuba and Iran).

2.  How will you deal with language issues?  I’ve heard that not everyone speaks and reads English fluently.  If this is correct, you’re likely going to have to have your marketing site (and application) translated into different languages.  In addition, if you offer customer service, you’ll need to have the ability to handl non-English support calls.

3.  Are you selling technology?  If you’re offering a service, like encryption software, and you’re a U.S. based business, you’ll also need to be aware of limitations placed on U.S. exports…as Uncle Sam doesn’t like providing certain technologies to companies or individuals outside of the U.S.  It seems like a lot of regulation, but the Small Business Administration provides many export centers to give small and medium sized businesses free counsel.  Here’s a link to find a center near you.

4.  How about your trademark and/or brand name?  What works in your home country may not work in others.  You may want to make sure that your business or product names don’t infringe someone else’s trademark in the other country(ies) that you’re focusing on.  You’ll also want to make sure your product or brand name makes sense.  A famous example of this is the Chevy Nova.  Great product name for the U.S., not so great when they marketed that car in Mexico — as “No va” means “no go” in Spanish.

Got some other advice on selling internationally?  Please feel free to share.

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Solicit and Listen – Customer Feedback is critical to business success

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Clip noteSocial media was the craze of 2009 and will only continue to gain ground in 2010. Blogging about your product and/or service is an incredible way to promote your business or product. While customers and passersby can comment on blog entries or Tweet their favorites, how do you convert the blog commenter into a devoted and loyal customer for future success?

As a business owner, you need to provide easy to use feedback tools to ensure that you are in touch with your customers (and would-be customers) and frequently and consistently responding to their needs. This entails listening to comments and being able to categorize them and REACT. There are a variety of tools available (some such asCrowdsound, RatePoint, Yelp) but do these sites bring traffic back to your site? Some do, but some are a link off with minimal options to react to comments. In a previouspost by DojoMike:  customers are sometimes reluctant to provide feedback (positive or negative).

To maintain an open dialog with customers and encourage feedback, the comment avenue needs to be easy to use and promote responses from the merchant/business owner. As a business owner, you also need to be able to solicit feedback and react to it, professionally. If a negative comment comes through, don’t ignore it, you need to respond and make changes that address the issue. At a minimum, sending an email to a customer who recently bought an item from your online store is an easy avenue to inquire if the ordering process was seamless and also to ask for website suggested changes or product improvements. The more you ask a customer for their input, the more likely they will become a repeat customer AND tell their friends about your site and excellent customer service.

At KikScore, we have created a feedback tool within the KikScore seal itself. Comments that are posted here are sent directly to merchants to review and respond. These comments are also available for all to see that are reviewing that site’s KikScore Seal.

How do you solicit feedback from customers? What do you do with the feedback you get? Do you have any feedback/suggestions for KikScore? Please share with us!

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SmallBiz Conversation with KKBB Apparel's Michael Banos & Tom Prince

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010


Today’s KikScore small business interview is with Michael Banos and Tom Prince from the super hip KKBB Apparel.  Michael, Tom and KKBB caught Kikscore’s eye for a number of reasons as you will see from their uniqueness and creativity that comes through in the interview.  But everyone should check out KKBB’s About Us page is very cool and follows from what we often talk about at KikScore that every small business should have a unique personality that your customers can relate to.  Kikscore is not even a customer of KKBB’s but their culture, vibe and approach is refreshing!

1. Tell us about KKBB and who you focuses on serving?

KKBB is an apparel company specializing in vibrant, off-the-wall designs. It’s pretty hard to ignore a piece from our catalog. Our target demographic is the 13-24 year old crowd. Young trendsetters who have an affinity for music and action sports. We went out on the Vans Warped Tour last year and pretty much hit the nail on the head with who we were trying to reach with our product.

2. How did you get your started selling online?

We’ve had an online store from the very beginning. When we launched the brand our website was up right away and we featured the online store from day one. Right now we’re in the process of creating a section of the store that is wholesaler specific. Our hope is to give each of our wholesale clients their own login which will grant them access to the wholesale prices and ordering forms. This should make the process of ordering wholesale from us easier on both ends.

3. Where will KKBB focus most of its energy in 2010?

Hopefully we’ll be able to maintain the solid customer base we’ve created by engaging them with interesting and funny content through our various web incarnations (website, Facebook, etc.). We’ll be working hard on bringing the brand to people who’ve yet to hear of it and taking steps to acquire more wholesale accounts, both big and small. We’re also looking to sponsor bands and extreme athletes.

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

1. Be aware of all the various fees you’ll be encountering through online sales, such as PayPal or fees applied by your store’s host. They can add up very quickly.

2. Make sure to have a solid shipping method setup. That way when the orders begin coming in you can keep up with the volume.

5. As 2009 just closed, what do you see as 2 new trends in your business this year?

We’re going to be getting more involved with sunglasses and other accessories. Also, by the end of 2010 we should be making the transition into cut-and-sew pieces. It wont be long before you’re seeing KKBB jeans, jackets, button-ups and much more.

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

The first thing that comes to mind is Chuck Norris but he’s been a bit of a cop-out as of late so we’ll go with King Leonidas from the movie 300. While on tour last summer we adopted the call and response of “KKBB… What is your occupation?!”, “HUH HUH HUH!!” Warped Tour is no joke and it is not for the weak of heart. The KKBB crew never backs down, never gives up, and never surrenders. We are willing to push our bodies to the brink to reach whatever goals we’ve set for ourselves.

7. If KKBB could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?

Christopher Walken would make the absolute perfect spokesperson for KKBB. If he was going to shoot a commercial or something for us I don’t even think we would give him any lines. I think we would just hand him a shirt to hold up while he spoke into the camera. We could just let this go on for an hour or so and then go into the editing room and splice the gems together. I’m confident it would turn out to be the most brilliant ad campaign ever.

8. How do the folks at KKBB let loose after a busy day working?

We usually find ourselves at the local watering holes with friends, playing 9-ball and shooting darts. We just try and relax because we rarely get any days off. When we do it’s a ton of lounging.

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

When you’re greeted with the opportunity for a business meeting, take it, regardless of who it is or what company they represent. Just because a company/product seems unrelated to your own doesn’t mean you wont pick up a great piece of advice, an amazing new contact, or hear about a product that may be useful to you in the future. But always keep in mind, everyone is playing an angle and you have to know what it is.

Thanks to Michael for taking the time for this interview.  If you have questions, please post them in our comment section and we will get Michael to answer them!

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Posts Tagged ‘online sales’

What's the Final Verdict for 2009 Holiday Onlines Sales? You May Have Sold More, But Did you Make More This Year.

Monday, January 4th, 2010

By all accounts, the 2009 holiday sales numbers seem pretty strong.  In a recent post, TechCrunch highlighted that the recent comScore assessment of online sales this year.  It touted that the revenue was up,  compared to the 2008 holiday season, 5%.  As we have alluded to in earlier posts, it not necessarily an indication of overall health of the economy, as that growth is likely coming at the expense of Bricks and Mortar shopping.  In addition to a growing acceptance of eCommerce versus fighting the crowds at the mall, 2009 included another wildcard that likely built up the number — the massive snow storm that plagued the East Coast for most of the holiday season. 

No one is going to argue that 5% growth isn’t great — most companies, in this economic environment, would love to have that type of growth.  But a valuable lesson that I learned in business school — it’s pretty complicated concept — the bottom line is a better indicator of business health than the top line.  So, though revenue may be up, what’s the profitability look like for the 2009 holiday shopping season?  Were shoppers buying low margin items with that cost a lot to resell?  It seems that may be the case.  According to comScore, this holiday shopping season saw a lot of high price ticket items (with not a lot of room for mark-up) that were the big sellers this year.  In fact, consumer electronics saw a 20% increase in sales this year, with jewelry and watches also as strong items.

So the question I pose to all online sellers is this — did your profitability rise at the same rate as your revenue this season?

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