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Posts Tagged ‘ratings’

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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Posts Tagged ‘ratings’

2009 Online Ratings Survey Synopsis

Friday, October 30th, 2009

As dojomike’s previous post alluded to, LexisNexis recently released their 2009 Online Ratings Survey. In that 2009 Survey, LexisNexis revealed some interesting trends that are continuing to develop in the online community.

Trend 1: The vast majority of small businesses and consumers are active users of review and ratings Web sites (90% for small business and 80% for consumers).

Trend 2: Small business owners place a greater value on ratings and review Web sites than consumers.

Trend 3: According to Alfredo Sciascia, a vice president with LexisNexis, “review and ratings Web sites are being used to a greater extent than ever before to inform buying decisions”. Sciascia adds that “ratings offer consumers valuable insight into a wide range of goods and services, and they can be a powerful tool used by business owners to differentiate their goods and services from those offered by competitors.”

Trend 4: Despite the increased use of review and ratings sites (as dojomike indicated in his previous post), the reliability of many of these review and ratings Web sites are in question.

Lexis-Nexis Recommendation Based on Trends: According to Sciascia, “the survey indicates that in order to offer a trustworthy, complete resource that provides significant value to business owners and consumers, providers of ratings will need to incorporate a combination of qualitative and quantitative evaluations”.

Lexis-Nexis’ recommendation was derived from the fact that when asked what kind of evaluation would be most valuable, nearly 80 percent of small business owners and consumers find that a blend of both numerical scores (overall ratings score) and written feedback (verbatim comments/testimonials) would be the most valuable type of evaluation from review and ratings Web sites.

Accordingly, do not only listen to me or dojomike as you continue to purchase and/or sell online, also listen to the experts at LexisNexis who commissioned a survey to obtain information that me or dojomike would have gladly provided to them for free.

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Posts Tagged ‘ratings’

Lexis Survey Finds that Small Businesses Drink the Ratings Kool-Aid

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

A new survery from LexisNexis and Martindale Hubble provided a very interesting trend amoung small businesses and their use and perceptions of rating sites.  According to the survey, small businesses rely on rating and review sites — for service and product choices — at a rate that is double the average consumer.  This is in despite of the fact that these same small business owners indicate a couple of things: (1) that the normal review sites are easily biased by positive or negative reviews; and (2) the reviews can easily be faked by the businesses being reviewed.

Why do small businesses find review sites to be of such value when they can be manipulated?  Despite these short-comings, reviews allow for much needed guidance in aggregating data and sorting out, in relatively quick fashion, where to get your goods and services.  Another point that the survey reveals is what something we already know (so it’s really a stretch to say it’s “revealing” anything) — that not all ratings are created equally.  More trust is put into the rating if (a) its from a independent third party; and (b) is based, in part, on actual customer feedback (but again, for some of these review sites, it can be hard to know if the data is from real customers or the reviewed business faking the review).

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