"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"
The holiday season is in full swing. According to eMarketer, retail sales will increase this year by 27.6%. Jane reminds readers that customer service is the #1 success tool you have, so try to work with your customers by offering gift certificates, online purchases with offline returns, and more attention to them...not to your bottom line. If you don't KNOW what your customers want from you, SHAME on you! Have we not trained you properly?
ASK them! They will surely tell you.
Now, on to this week's Fit by Five-- 5 great places to shop online. Jane feels confident recommending these 5 ideas, but does not expect you to limit yourself to them when you're busy clicking away to buy neat stuff for your family and friends this holiday season.
FIRST... A mouth-watering, eye pleasing, lip-smacking website introduced to us by Toby Bloomberg over at Diva Marketing:
GourmetStation. Jane approves of the website, (it's female-friendly) and we cannot stop drooling over the delicious offerings, not to mention--what a unique, special gift to give friends, family, and clients! After all, EVERYBODY loves food!
Lego purports on their website that "you can build anything out of Legos." Jane heartily agrees, which makes this "toy" something you might consider for some adults you know, also. They are also sponsoring a super contest. To quote from Modern Marketing:
"Using Lego software customers can design a model and put it forward to a gallery where other customers will vote for their favourite entries.
An overall winner will have their entry turned into a real live Lego product that will go on sale around the world. And what's more the winner will receive 5% royalties from all sales.
And the really good news is that there is a section for senior customers!"
THIRD... From our good blogging friend, Andrea Learned at Learned on Women, someone who keeps us up-to-date on women in sports (among other things), we learned of two sporting goods stores that cater to women. Isis for Women and Burton -- which took a tad long to download but was well worth the wait! We noted in a post not long ago that women and sports are IT...you can't lose if you shop at a sporting goods store for the woman in your life. She doesn't have to be a skier, or a swimmer, or a hiker...there are products in all those categories that women LOVE, even if we're only going to wear them to work, or walking the dog. Women and sports, we can't say enough about it. (maybe this is a good way to introduce her to YOUR favorite sport...hmmmm?)
FOURTH... Jane would be remiss if she didn't advise readers on at least one technical device or service. In reading Small Business Pipeline, we came across this information from Trend Micro Mobile Security:
Best of all: it's FREE until June 2005. Protection, free for the asking, Jane likes that a lot!
FIFTH... Jane's last suggestion is to consider giving the gift of... blogging! Yes, Typepad (they are not paying us to say so, but we'll accept recognition if they see our post), is giving away one free account with one paid account. Now, you can introduce blogging to all of your friends...and start a network of...well, Jane leaves that up to you, dear reader.
Typepad also has "exclusive pricing" for existing members. This is a win-win situation. Lip-sticking invites our readers to consider the implications of real-time connections to one's family and friends, no matter where they are. Technorati (the "authority on what's going on in the world of weblogs") is following over 3 million blogs, up from 100,000 two years ago. According to their website, "there are about 275,000 posts daily, or about 10,800 blog updates an hour." Why shouldn't one of them be your Mother's, or your Father's, or your sister's... It's all marketing to women who shop online, no matter how you look at it.
What's not to like about that?