Tuesday, August 30, 2011
THE NEW ONLINE SHOPPING PHENOMENA
There seems to be more and more 'exclusive' special sale websites popping up in all avenues of internet sales. Recently there seems to be a plethora of home sites that have manifested, such as the Foundry and One King's Lane. While they try to maintain an air of exclusivity and membership, they are still pretty darn open to the public. But their main function is to offer up supposed great deals from a range of retailers. The great part are of course the discounts, but I think even more so the exposure to lots of smaller retailers located throughout the country that I may have never ever encountered otherwise.
Yet, my biggest problem with these sites in terms of being a practicing designer, is that I have yet to reach the echelons of dealing with clients that just let me purchase things without reviewing with them. Ahhh, to have the turnkey client who says - "I want it done by this date, just do it". Alas, I mostly work with clients that have one or two homes, not six or seven, and want to be a bit more intimately involved in the design of their homes. (Don't get me wrong, I love my clients all, and love such projects that become much more personal). Anyway, my problem is that all of these sites have flash sales that end within a few days or hours. This makes for a hard sales situation for me. First of all, it means I can really only look for items the day of a meeting, and then I have to push a client to make a decision almost on the spot so we can get the items before they are sold out or the sale just plain goes away. This can be frustrating and a waste of time. Maybe there is a better way to deal with these sites, but I have yet to find them hugely beneficial from a business standpoint, other than exposure to new brands. Of course I am sure there are those times where I search for that perfect something, and if it happens to pop up on one of these sites, it would be possible to get the client on board quickly. Anyway, that is my perspective. I would be interested to know if you use these sites, love them, find them useful or not.