Archive for online shopping

Big in Russia

Although we primarily focus our online selling efforts on Ireland, the power of the Internet means that we can be found by customers from many different countries. In the last few months we have sold to the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, the USA and Canada. We have also received a number of orders from a few different customers in Russia (all in Moscow). We seem to have a big fan in Russia who posts about us on a Russian shopping forum. and we regularly get traffic from the forum posts back to our website.

Here’s a screen shot of the forum (translated)

I have to rely on the Google toolbar translation service to see what they are saying about us. Accepting that a lot of the meaning gets “lost in translation”,  here are a few of the quotes about PuddleDucks on the forum.

  •  liked the surprise was the sweater (ordered as a gift to the village district.) had a button with a picture of a tractor and he growls and pants in all keys))) Fleece myagchyayshy, my child is fussy (he agrees to wear clothes selectively) got no calls.
  • And this sweater bought as a gift, so bright! Its main chip-rychalka and gudelka, clicking sound типо tractor rides, the most interesting that there are no restrictions on the label does not wash, can be washed in the machine
  • Vasche I love this story, it is warm, lightweight, easy to wash, dries quickly, presentation for a long time to lose. In blue sweaters lightning in green. sweater wide neck, his head is not stuck.

I know it does not all make complete sense but I think we can safely say that the Russian customers like their PuddleDucks gear.  And we’re delighted that we are reaching satisfied customers – not just in Ireland but all over the World too.

There’s a link to the Russian shopping forum here.

A message to our visitors from Russia (apologies for any mistakes in language):

Привет. Мы очень счастливы иметь клиентов из России. Пожалуйста пошлите по электронной почте нам в info@puddleducks, если Вы имеете какие-нибудь вопросы.

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Online Shopping not included in retail sales statistics

The retail sales figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for the last few months do not make happy reading, In the latest statistics, the volume of retail sales decreased by 15.4% in May 2009 compared to a year earlier.

But whenever I hear the doom-laden news of such retail statistics I think “hey – what about online sales?”. At PuddleDucks, our sales are increasing year-on-year and I know the same is the case with other Irish online retailers with many more retailers coming on stream all the time. I also understand that in times of recession many shoppers are moving online in search of lower prices, greater choice and added convenience.

shoppingcart

I have enquired with the CSO and they have confirmed that the official retail sales figures in Ireland do not include online sales. So all the news of dropping retail sales is only covering shopping centre stores and high street stores but not online shopping sales. It’s as if online doesn’t exist.

But look at these statistics and forecasts from the UK:

  • Online sales are 17% of all retail sales [2]
  • Online shopping will grow by 137% from £8.9billion at the end of 2008 to £21.3billion by the end of 2011 [1]
  • Predicted that 30%-50% of all retail sales will be online within 5 years [2]

So in Ireland if a consumer moves spending from a high street shop to buy online, that sale disappears from the official sales statistics. In effect, it looks like that the online sales are not taking place at all.  I understand that in the current downturn overall spending sentiment is falling but not counting online sales is making the effect seem worse.

Online shopping is a real shopping and has a huge future. There should be official Irish statistics available for it.

Links:

[1] PayPal Report

[2] Internet Retailing Report

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Postcode a no-no for Irish shopping sites

Doing my Christmas Shopping. Online of course. I’m not really a shopping fan. I’d much rather a walk in the woods with the dogs than a trip down to the shopping centre. So buying online suits me perfectly. This Christmas I’m trying to shop locally and only use Irish-based sites, but am continuously finding one annoying feature.  The postcode / zip code issue.

shopping_cart

Why is it that an Irish website marketing itself primarily to the Irish market insists on a postcode. OK – have an option for one, sure. Just don’t insist on it.  One site lost my business because the delivery details page was so inflexible that I gave up.  Another at least let me put in a few 0000’s and allowed this so I did complete my order. But please, if the majority of your customers are from Ireland please make it easier for all of us and rewrite your postcode option.

— Suzanne

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