Following the final few days of the first Clicktailing programme in Dublin’s National Digital Research Centre – a group of weary but excited retailers headed home with hopeful hearts. Their eight days together had been packed with the guidance & insights they’ll need to succeed as online retailers. Every aspect of eCommerce was covered – from design & development, through to legal considerations, advice on logistics and fulfillment & culminated in the launch of their baby online businesses in early June much to everyone’s delight!
As always, the management team behind the programme went to great efforts to recognise & reward their outstanding efforts, with awards for merchandising & photography presented to Kennedy & McSharry menswear store, Ciara O’Keeffe as the ‘Best Value Proposition’ ,and Barry Doyle Design delighted to be recognised as having the best overall website in the group. Other awards were presented to Jesus Aguado as best designer, and Brooke & Shoals for the often under-valued skill of copy writing that is so critical to online sales.
So one month on – have their sales set the world alight or are they still waiting? I caught up with some of the folks and was delighted to learn that in less a month since they launched their sites, over half the retailers have had online sales! It’s a huge achievement and a sign of further great things to come as confidence & their website management & marketing skills grow.
Like any business, sales volumes will take time to build, with retailers feeding back how critically important they now realize that marketing will be on an ongoing basis. Many had perhaps assumed that this would happen automatically but the reality is that the hard work actually starts now! Finding the time to test tools such as Facebook marketing & email marketing would nearly make a full-time job in themselves it seems. Thankfully the Shopify platform is proving easy to use, so it’s definitely one to recommend to other Irish retailers hoping to follow in these retailer’s footseps.
Last but not least, the Clicktailers are finding each other a huge support, with the group all delighted to share their knowledge and learnings on an ongoing basis through the steep learning curve that’s still evident. Ciara O’Keeffe also commented that the programme has given her increased confidence to apply for other supports & opportunities, and this has already resulted in a piece of her art work being chosen for inclusion in the Saatchi art gallery in London as an indirect result of taking part in Clicktailing!
No doubt the months and years ahead are full of abundant opportunity & ongoing learning, and if the necessary funding comes through, a second group of lucky Clicktailers will take flight in September 2013. Check out www.Clicktailing.com or the Facebook page on www.Facebook.com/Clicktailing to be kept informed.