Towards perfection
27.10.2011 9160

Towards perfection

More recently, when e-commerce was just beginning, there was a strong belief that of the whole variety of children's products online, only those that do not require trying-on can be successfully sold online - toys and baby care products. Several years have passed, and the situation has changed radically, a huge number of web-shops have appeared, which offer children's clothing and footwear, not only in Moscow, but also in the regions. Elena Gerke, coordinator of the Kiddypages.ru children's goods center, reviewed the existing online stores.

The parameters by which the buyer evaluates the online store are the same for everyone: a convenient and "fast" site, clear navigation, excellent photos, preferably from several angles, comprehensive information about the model and the manufacturing company, a variety of payment methods, the ability to quickly communicate with the operator and his competence, speed of delivery (preferably to any region), and, of course, a large assortment of shoes and attractive prices.

Despite the impressive number of online children's shoe stores (or stores offering children's shoes, among others), the review showed their amazing uniformity.

Many online shoe stores for children suffer from a “disease” with similar symptoms: slurred site navigation; congestion with extraneous pictures and links; photos of poor quality or taken in only one angle; lack of description of the manufacturer or “isolation” of this description from a specific model; meager description of models.

With the "material" part, too, not everything is smooth. The most common and often the only way to pay is in cash to the courier. Payment by credit card is almost impossible. Some stores offer payment by receipt through Sberbank, Yandex-money or web-money, but this forces the buyer to visit the nearest bank branch or to look for Yandex-money in a kiosk, the charm of the feeling of buying “without leaving home” disappears.

The range of children's online stores is surprisingly uniform: "ANTILOPA", "BAMBINI", "TEMPO KIDS", "PARIS COMMUNE", "KOTOFEY", "TASHI ORTO" and KUOMA that joined them. That is, with rare exceptions, budgetary Russian, Turkish, Polish shoes and irreplaceable Finnish felt boots are presented in stores. This monotony, of course, is depressing. When many sellers sell the same thing, not only buyers deprived of choice suffer, but sellers themselves. So the owners of online stores have reason to think about expanding or changing the range.

There is, of course, good news. Delivery at almost all stores is done within 2-3 days, and most often the day after the order. Many post on the site the exact instructions for determining the size and offer the “pair of choice” service: you can order two or three pairs of different sizes and choose the one you need (although you need to pay about 50 rubles for each additional pair).

Quite a bit in RuNet shoe online stores, which could be called a "role model", but two of them must be mentioned.

SAPATO.RU - Russian tracing-paper with fantastically impeccable American ZAPPOS.COM and a young online store of children's shoes with the witty name LAPTEY.NET.

To look inside the online trading, we asked Eldar Avdiev, manager of the RIK-STYLE company (the company-owner of the LAPTEY.NET store), to answer some questions.

- How many online stores of children's shoes are in RuNet?

- About 100. Most often they offer domestic shoes or inexpensive imported ones.

- Is the attractiveness of online trading in children's shoes growing?

- Using an online store, everyone solves his problems. Someone complements their offline store, someone who has bulk purchases thus solves the problem of leftovers. Opening an online store of children's shoes (and just shoes) “from scratch” is quite difficult.

- Do innovations (for example, spinning photos) affect sales? Or just enough good quality photos?

- Full-size photos of excellent quality from different angles - this is a necessity. But you need to move forward, comparing favorably with competitors. Therefore, innovations such as 3D photos are desirable. We are working on it.

- Do the peaks in shoe sales in online stores coincide with regular retail?

- Fully match. In August-September, December and May, telephones of operators are heated up from calls, just like shops from buyers of seasonal shoes.

- How do you solve the problem of choosing the size?

- We have a step-by-step recommendation on determining the size of the child’s legs on our site, in addition, operators can always give a detailed recommendation. A few pairs to choose from is also an option, but only within Moscow. We send to regions by mail, and such a service is not provided. But parents rarely make mistakes with size and almost always get shoes a little overgrowth.

- How competitive are our stores compared to European ones - in terms of choice, payment, conditions and speed of delivery?

- Online trade is still only developing in our country, and, unfortunately, we are still far from the best Western stores. Let's take the already mentioned ZAPPOS.COM: 1247 brands –4 952 931 models (albeit together with clothes, footwear for children and adults and other goods); free shipping; return of goods within 365 (!) days, well-functioning system of gift and discount cards. Comments are superfluous ...

- What is the profitability of foreign i-stores, which is ours?

- I can’t say what profitability foreign companies have. The Russians have it, too, of course different, but so far not very high. The reason is that the development of the Internet in Russia leaves much to be desired, and the degree of customer loyalty to this method of trading is still very low, and payment methods are limited - there are still enough restraining factors.

- With what margin can I work on the Internet?

- Usually 60-70%. But some are forced to trade with a 40% margin (to get rid of leftovers or unpopular models).

- Is there a problem of residues? And if so, how is it solved?

- In the usual way: discounts, sales, special promotions.

- How do you promote your store? Do you use Kawang or e-lama promotion system?

- We advertise on specialized sites, on social networks, use Yandex.Direct and Runner. In general, an online store is a mandatory monthly considerable infusion of advertising. The one who believes that it is enough to make a website is mistaken, and the trade will go. In terms of costs, it is possible to compare an offline store with an area of ​​30-40 square meters. m and an online store.

So, the online sale of children's shoes still goes through its "quantitative" stage, which is characteristic of every business. So far, only a few online stores are entering a new, “high-quality” stage of development. The rest will surely catch up with them, because the competition in this market is quite high. And then all of them will go their way to excellence so that buying children's shoes on the Internet turns into a really convenient and enjoyable task.

 More recently, when Internet commerce was just beginning, there was a strong opinion that of the whole variety of children's goods online, only that which does not require successful sales can be successfully sold ...
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