Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Of OLX, Online Customer Behavior,
and the Need for Printed Stocks

        I've recently posted ads for BuhayBohemio Shirts on about two weeks ago and I figured that newly posted ads are seen first on searches because I got a lot of text inquiries on the first 4 or 5 days. Replying to those questions made me reload more prepaid credits to my mobile phone than usual. (Yup, prepaid - works for me.)

I tried adding FAQs on the ads but the new OLX only allow 1000 letters on the description box. Plus you can't add HTML there or even put your website's URL . Well I'd understand the omitting of HTML . The ads there look cleaner and concise now. But not allowing your website's URL doesn't make sense to me. So I instead put my URL on the product pics. Obviously they have a bot to check the photos. Sometimes your photo will be rejected because "there are too many distracting elements" but they always add their logo and URL on them, making it even more cluttered than they say it is.

I  also observed different behaviors of customers when it comes to buying shirts online. Some would search the web then prefer to see the actual item before buying. So they would usually ask if I have a shop somewhere. Others would change their mind about buying upon knowing that they would have to pay first before I print their shirt and send it to them. Quite understandable. While on the other hand, there are those who have no reluctance at all, like some of my previous customers (apart from people I know). They see what they want, send a payment to a complete stranger, and there - a shirt is made and shipped to their address.

           Of all those who inquired after I posted on OLX, so far, there is only ONE who end up ordering. And that is after a long series of question-and-answer messages on text. She's from central Cavite and she thought of reselling my shirts in her area through pre-order which I agreed to. Then her customers started asking questions which she threw at me. Like if the quality of the shirts and the print are good; if the shirts are warm on the body; if the shirts are individually packed... They even asked the brand of the shirts that I'm using and I have to admit that it almost drove me nuts. I suggested that she buy a shirt or two as samples so she could answer the questions herself. But she eventually ordered 25 pieces instead  (shirts and tank tops) and it's amazing that she sold more of my shirts than I could in 3 days! Thanks Miss Cha!

With recent bulk orders of varied  BuhayBohemio Shirts, I really felt the disadvantage of not having printed stocks. It's quite tiresome! Well I have been meaning to make stocks (and you've been hearing me say this since last year). But I now already have 30 designs and if I make each in 4 sizes, times the available colors for men's and ladies' shirts, plus the tank tops, then I will be  printing nearly 500 items. O_o

How and when do I start? Maybe I should outsource them instead? But where do I store them? Is it about time to open a shop? Should I set up a store in the garage? Am I pondering on this too much? Why am I asking  too many questions? OMG the "-ber" months are coming!  O_o

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