Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shop Diagnostics: Bug A Booties

Shop Diagnostics is a series where we share tips coming from creative entrepreneurs who can run shops in light of adjustments brought on by military life YET APPLICABLE to all those interested in improving their shop's presence online and worldwide.

Take the Time to say THANK YOU!
Written by Lauren Murray, 
shop owner and creator of Bug-a-booties
Hi Homefront Team! I am so excited to be a part of our shop tips! A quick little bit about me; My name is Lauren Murray and I am a 31 year old mother of one beautiful 17 month old daughter. I have been with my husband for 10 years, married for 7. I work during the day as an Orthodontic Lab Technician and I work on my Etsy store evenings and weekends during nap times, although that will change soon . My husband is leaving for basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky on February 1st. We are late to the military life, but we are very excited.

I started making baby booties when my daughter was 4 months old. I had many people tell me I should make them to sell. So in January 2010 I opened my Etsy shop! To date I have about 25 sales on Etsy and twice that many off site. I also have my booties in two different boutiques, one in Manhattan and one in Whitehorse, Yukon in Canada.

So what does an a person like me, with little experience in the military life and so few sales have to offer as a shop tip? Well, before I went into the Dental field, I spent over 12 years in customer service, mostly doing retail sales. My experience in the retail industry has been invaluable to my Etsy success. I believe that excellent customer service can take you so much further than just having a great product! As a crafter/handmade entrepreneur, you know that your items are not a necessity, but a desire to the prospective customer. Consumers do not come to your shop to buy something they need. They come there because they desire what you sell. With so many other sellers carrying similar items, you have to set your self apart from the competition. There are many ways that can be done, but I am amazed by how often good customer service is passed up.

One of the best ways you can wow your customer is to send them a personal message. When I buy something on Etsy, if I don’t get a convo from the seller confirming my order, I feel cheated. A simple “thank you for your order, here are my shipping policies, etc.” would suffice. I cannot believe that an Etsy seller would be too busy for that, and if you are, I hope you are writing a shop tips section, because I would love to know your secrets! 

I also always include a little hand written thank you card in each of my packages. The least expensive way I have found to do this is to buy a pack of scrap booking paper in note card size. You get a cute variety in one stack. Just simply fold it in half and write your note inside! You will show your customer that you took the time to thank them personally and that you are being thoughtful. With the economy in its current state of disarray, we should be thankful that people are choosing to spend their hard earned cash on our handmade goods!

Properly done, good customer service will lead to repeat sales and great word of mouth! There is a statistic that says something like, “a good experience is repeated twice, a bad experience is repeated up to 11 times!” Don’t let a simple thing like forgetting to say thank you become the bad experience your customers are repeating to their friends! I know this seems like common sense, but take the time to thank your customers! Thank you for reading this! I hope it helps. Best of luck and many sales!

Thank you Lauren for sharing your tips! If you are interested in contributing to Shop Diagnostics, please contact us (Use the "Contact" tab at the top of the blog).


Olga said...

Very nice tips and I love those booties, they are adorable! said...

Thanks for sharing...your shop is delightful!

Robin Norgren said...

we have such talent here! so excited for all the upcoming posts!

Evelyn said...

Lauren, I really appreciate the insight, especially "Consumers do not come to your shop to buy something they need. They come there because they desire what you sell." Thanks, Evelyn

Anonymous said...

Thank you everyone for allowing me to pioneer this section of the blog! I enjoyed it!

Mandy said...

Good tips and very cute booties!!

Cams said...

Wow! What a great tip that does get forgotten. I thought I was doing good in appreciating my customers on the feedback tab, but I plan to go the small extra mile with a note now. I know I enjoy it when received also.