Who is our customer?
A small segment of tastemakers and people who get what we do. Young, hip, social media users, blogging, connected influencers. Those who play the fashion game and have high taste. People who like to shop. People with disposable income. Sneaker freaks, fashion geeks. College/High School kids.
Why not everybody? Why leave some out?
Not everybody is interested in buying licensed apparel online. Hell, some of our customers are impulse souvenir shoppers and that’s all they’ll ever be. Some are too old to consider making a purchase online. Some would only wear their team, and that’s it. Some don’t even have the web capabilities to actually shop such a forward thinking site. Not everybody has flash.
What is our message?
We’re an online destination for forward thinking fashion customers who are interested in quality sports licensed stuff. We are out to be the best; not the biggest. Note: If we have a generic (one size fits all) message and implementation, we are not special or cool and we are not worth passing along to your friends.
What do they want to hear?
You have just stumbled upon an awesome site. “This is special. I am special. This is not for everybody. This is cool. This place has got some awesome product. These prices are reasonable. This goes with my new sneakers. This is a sweet old logo. This is how to buy and wear licensed gear fashionably.”
Why should they care?
Because it solves a problem for them. “How do I know what the best licensed apparel brand is? What’s cool?” “How to be fashionable while supporting your team and wearing licensed looks.”
What will motivate them to make a purchase? Them to become a repeat visitor? Them to be a repeat purchaser?
A lot has to be in place. Awesome product, and a quality shopping experience with quality follow-up and support if there’s a problem.
What is “quality” online? How can you tell?
“Quality” is the absence of non-quality signifiers. Think about that.
What is a “non-quality signifier” online?
Poor design, unclear site navigation, crappy pictures, crumby presentation and delivery of goods, a shitty or difficult to use return policy, paying unfair shipping, paying too much in general. Anything that could possibly warrant buyers remorse. We have the great majority of this covered. We need to take it all the way.
What’s it going to take to capitalize on these opportunities? What’s the right move?
Ecomm is a much different world than retail. Shoppers are going to do a bit of research before they pull the trigger. They’re going to see if the same stuff is available elsewhere online and if it’s cheaper. People who purchase online always do this. It’d dumb not too. Example: Thefind.com
They’re also going to check and see how much it costs to ship. Good companies encourage you to go for free shipping by prodding you to purchase more (Amazon). We can send out a nibble and give free shipping if you spend enough too, but c’mon, be a GREAT company and just eat the cost on the shipping. It’ll be worth it when they’re a repeat customer who tells everybody and their brother where they got the threads and how cool it was that they didn’t hose you on shipping. We whole-heartedly believe this.
This is the internet. This is not Red Sox nation visiting the Mecca of sports stores. There are no waves of extasy surging through your body after a walk-off homerun win at Fenway Park. You are calm and collected and you’re going to make sure you get a good value for your damn hard earned money. You may not even be a real big fan of the team your buying at the moment- it just looks cool and you want it. Don’t give them a reason to turn you down. Be fair. Nobody ever went broke kissing the ass of their core customer.
What about returns?
We emulate Zappos.com customer service policies regarding returns. Or get close. We’re shortening the supply chain. We should pass along some of the savings or have stellar service. We can afford it. This is crucial to our “buzz worthyness.”
What will need to make it a success?
First and foremost, Product offerings:
The ecommerce store won’t be worth visiting, shopping, and forwarding around to your friends unless there are many, many more skews. Every team from every league represented with at least a franchise and scrum tee. Also, we need to have a product fulfillment plan. Whether we tack on 12 pcs. of selected styles we are already placing with the factory for our use at ecom, or we pull from overages of great stuff that comes through the office, we need to have a plan in place to ensure we keep the ecom site fresh and worth looking at every week. This needs to be part of somebody’s job description. This person needs to have their finger on the pulse of market trends, (IE. Craig, Tom, Sean, Bob) and be responsible for making the product have high profile pull
Bottom line is before we market the site, it needs to be a kickass product on it’s own. Make sure the marketing ideas we have for it are worth pursuing. Make it great.
It’s going to take a lot of time and energy to do it right and we will need to directly allocate resources to it.
Overall, if done well, the site will rock. We’re almost there. Lets keep pushing.
Photography needs. Product needs. Marketing needs. Shipping needs.
For the site to be a weekly destination for fans of our brand and not just fans of their team, we need it to be exciting. Worth looking into. Worth spotlighting on your blog for a day. CURRENT. For this to happen, we need to break down the time it takes for us to see a trend happening, make product, get it here, photograph it, and then put it up on the site. To hit these goals of reacting fast to an opportunity, we need to have people in place who are accountable for that task.
Ecomm Buying: Taking stock positions on large market nationwide teams, knowing what comes through the warehouse and what pieces to skim off the top.
Ecomm Logistics: Somebody who holds others accountable for what comes in and out.
Ecomm Marketing: Somebody responsible for garnering the traffic to make online sales thru: email campaigns (permission marketing), facebook, twitter, blogging, banner ads.
Ecomm Photography: Someone to handle the large production load of making all the product look like it’s worth what we charge. I HAVE IDEAS FOR THIS – web tool that makes screen printed T-shirts, Photography Interns.- utilizing the production dept. for more than CAD production.