Archive for July, 2010

Selling from our Facebook Page

Our Facebook page is up and running for well over a year now and we’re delighted to have build up a following of over 1000 fans or people who “like” the page . The page is a fun and informative way to “chat” to our existing and potential customers. We regularly run competitions, offers, discounts and post articles and links. Our Facebook fans can post their own reviews and often send us photos of the kids in their PuddleDucks gear. We love it. Overall, Facebook is definitely our social media channel of choice.

As an online retailer we are always interested in finding new ways to show off and sell our products. I recently read a piece in Practical Ecommerce about different ways of selling  your products from your Facebook page. I feel it is too early and currently too unsecure to sell directly on the Facebook page but I do feel that there is a great opportunity to “show off your wares” to your Facebook fans and route them through to your website. After doing a bit of reaseach I selected Shop Tab as the Facebook application we would use.

When installed it shows your products on a new “Shop” tab on your page. Clicking on a products takes the customer to the appropriate page on the website where the secure purchase can (hopefully!) take place.

The installation of the application is really easy. The pricing plan I selected included a free 7 day trial and a charge of $10 per month after that. You just sign up through Facebook, add your page details and then upload a CSV file of your products to ShopTab. The format of this file is defined by Shop Tab and it includes, Product Name, Description, Category, Price, Product url and Image url. Upload the file and the products appear on a new Shop tab on your Facebook page.

So far, I have only included a subset of our products on the Shop tab. More will be added more as we go along. I will also be keeping a close eye on Google Analytics to see how much extra traffic comes from our new Facebook shop window.

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The First Step Programme

Anyone out there who is currently unemployed and thinking of setting up their own business might be interested in our next guest post from Joanne Hession of QED Training about the First Step programme. 

With the First Step programme, we are trying to help those who are currently unemployed and are interested in setting up their own business.  The aim is to help those who are seriously interested in getting their business up and running within 90 days.  This  programme is funded through the Labour Market Activation Fund and is a great opportunity for people who wish to set up their own business as it will give them access to finance, mentoring, coaching and ongoing support.  At we are one of the network of providers of this programme for First Step and we are actively looking to recruit participants for the programme so that we can support businesses in launching – ideally in September (we will take another intake in October/November).

20 potential start-ups will be able to access the support of specialist trainers, coaches, mentors and a panel of experts who will work with them to assess their strengths and weaknesses and provide them with practical, tailored and one-to-one assistance to get them up and started in business.

The programme of coaching/mentoring/support will last approximately 15-20 weeks and during this time there will be an entire suite of workshops, networking events and coaching sessions, tailored to each individual participant.  The coaching will be intensive, utterly practical and very hands on.

Importantly, access to start up loans will be provided through First Step –  and there will be a rigorous selection process in place as the programme has limited places.

For further information or to apply for participation on the network contact Joanne on 087 2882688 ( or Steve on 085 1175452 (

Participant profile:  The ideal candidate must satisfy 3 criteria.  They must be unemployed for the past 3months (in receipt of unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance), and they must require funding support and have a business idea that they are driven and hungry enough to set up in 2010 (with a business plan started or completed).

First Step: First-Step was set up in 1991 as a not for profit organisation by Norma Smurfit and a group of like minded individuals. The objective of First-Step is to provide microfinance loans (i.e. loans less than €25,000) to start up or expanding small and medium enterprises for job creation or protection.  Loans are targeted at people who have difficulty securing finance from traditional banking sources. To date First-Step has assisted 1,500 projects. It is estimated these projects have created in excess of 3,000 employment opportunities.

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Competition on

We’re currently sponsoring a competition with the good folks on Simply answer a question on our new children’s wetsuits and be in with a chance of winning a well stocked picnic rucksack. Now all we need is the Summer weather!

Click here to enter the competition.

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New Wetsuits for Smaller Kids

Our children’s wetsuits have proved to be very popular since we launched them back in May. This might be someting to do with the lovely summer weather we’ve had so far this year. Long may it continue!

We’ve now added some new short wetsuits for the younger kids. They come in 2 striking colours, red and yellow and in two sizes – age 2-3 years and age 4-5 years. Manufactured by kids wetsuit specialists Konfidence, the new wetsuit is  priced at €24.99. Get more details here.

Kids Wetsuit

Kids Wetsuit

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New Sun and Beach Video

We recently put together this new video showing some of our new Sun and Beach gear. This video was constructed from our photos using Animoto – which is a great site for making attractive videos from your photos.

Our Sun and Beach range includes children’s wetsuits, UV tops, UV suits, UV hats and beach shoes. Check them all out here.

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PuddleDucks Summer Art Competition

To celebrate the launch of our new Sun and Beach range we are organising a new children’s summer art competition.

Our new summer range includes kids wetsuits, UV suits, tops & hats and beach shoes. You can see the full range here

To enter the art competition let your little artists have fun drawing or painting their favourite beach scene. Send us the drawing and be in with a chance to win a bumper set of beach toys.

There are a number of ways to enter:

  • Send the entry to us at the address below
  • Photograph the entry and email it to us at
  • Photograph the entry and post it to our Facebook page

Competition Rules:

  • Children aged 11 years and under are eligible to enter
  • The closing date for entries is Saturday 18th July
  • If posting the address for entries is PuddleDucks, Beechwood, Ferney Road, Carrigaline, Co. Cork
  • We may display the entries on our Facebook page or on photo sharing sites. Acknowledgement will be made to the artists.

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