Apr 25, 2013
Does your store offer online sales?

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn’t – for our readers, from our readers

“Does your store offer online sales?”

Linda Miller
Parties & Weddings Plus
Mankato, Minn.
We have recently shut down our e-commerce site and are putting our focus on our visual photo site to lead our consumers to us. It was not an easy decision as we had an unbelievable amount of time, money and energy into making it work, but we just didn’t have all the right ingredients to make it click right now.

Lynn Abdelnour
Halloween Gear
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Yes, I have an online business as well, but online sales are only at 3 percent of my gross sales. My intention for the website is to use it as a tool for customers to see what I have available each year. Many times a customer will call and specifically ask for details regarding certain costumes, so we guide them to our site for answers!

Jacob & Kimberly Cowger
Balloons, Etc. & The Costume Emporium
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
We don’t exactly offer online sales, but customers can view a number of our balloon bouquets online and then call to place an order for delivery. For many years we’ve been contemplating adding online sales for our twisting balloons and magic supplies we sell, even more so since we’ve expanded to a costume shop that now offers theatrical and special effects makeup as well as costume accessories, wigs and hats.

Not knowing what all is involved in online sales is probably what has prevented us from taking that leap. If we had more info I think it could definitely influence our decision.

Joseph Wike and Amy Adele
Greer, S.C.
Yes, 99 percent of our sales are online as other than local pickups, we are online only and have been for seven years. Being online allows us to be available 24/7. In addition, we believe we are more efficient and can better analyze marketing data. Our customers also have the freedom to come and go without any social pressure from us. However, we know we could build better relationships with our customers by interacting in person!

Chuck Turner
Party Time/Turner Rental
Birmingham, Ala.
Online sales account for 18 percent of our retail sales and we offer pretty much all retail items – about 9,000. There are several online only stores that use to have a brick and mortar store in Alabama. Birthday Direct does about 20 million in sales a year and Candy Apple Costumes in Tuscaloosa – they have both party supplies and costumes.

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