Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And the Survey Says!

First I wanted to thank everyone who answered the survey in our July enews! Over 150 of you took the time to share your thoughts with us - so thank you - You Guys Rock!

I always hate it when I fill out a survey and then don't know what happened with my answers.  Did the business owner read it?  Did they do anything based on my answers or other customer's answers?  Well - I wanted to let you know that I read EVERY SINGLE ANSWER - some of it I laughed about (you guys are very funny), some of it I acted on (thank you for the suggestions), and some of it I pretended I didn't read (no just kidding - I took everything to heart even if I can't/won't change it:)).

So here it is - the summary of the results - reoccuring themes, great suggestions, and my thoughts on them!

1.  How did you read this month's newsletter?  80% read the Swagger Gifts Newsletter at Home, 20% at work, and 15% on the go!

2.  What do you like best about our monthly emails?
  • The majority of the answers were new products - which I promise to keep coming in every edition!  We went crazy at market and there is new *stuff* coming in every week until Christmas!
  •   A close second and third were the coupons and sale items.  I hear ya.  We always give a "Thanks for reading" coupon and I promise not to stop.  However, if you would like to find out more info about sales and to get more coupons - sign up for our "Swagger ME List" on our website's homepage or "like us" on Facebook
  • We also had several votes for our Charity Events!  We appreciate that and are glad to give back to the community!
3.  What could we do to improve our monthly emails?  I loved all the suggestions!  Some of my favorites that we are planning (or already have) implemented are:
  • Suggest how to use an item or who it would be good for.  Great suggestion!  I promise to do more of this on our enews, facebook page, and this blog!
  • Show different ways to personalize an item so that shoppers can envision it.  
  • Maybe "hide" something in the newsletter and the first person to find it and email me wins something. I am working on this idea - it sounds like fun!
  • Be a bit clearer on instore vs. online.  Sorry guys!  I guess since I know which is which I thought you did too - no?:)  I appreciate being called out on this and am consciously working on it!
  • Stories behind why we've chose a product for the store or an adventure we've been on.  I like this idea a lot, but I am trying to figure out how to get it in the enews without it being too long!  For now, we do this on this blog and on Facebook so make sure to check out both of these places frequently!
  • More advance notice on events.  Working on it!  And we already announced our Holiday Open House Preview Night Benefiting Nancy's Butterfly Fund. 2 1/2 months notice!  How's that:)
4.  Would you like to see more Swagger in your inbox? This was a 50/50 split!  And in the spirit of being fair - if you would like more Swagger info including more coupons and sale info, please do sign up for our "Swagger Me List" - I promise you will be happy with what we send you and you will be the first to know about sales and such in between our regular monthly enews list! 

5.  Are you on facebook? 73% of you said YES!  Which leads to our next question...

6.   If you are on facebook, are you a fan of Swagger Gifts? 51% said YES and 49% said NO.  What?  49%? Why not?!?!  Get your butt over there people:)!  We post pics of new items, tell fun stories about stuff going on in the store, giveaway FREE stuff all the time, and so much more.  Now if that doesn't convince you I don't know what will!:)  Join us NOW:)!

7.  What entices you to visit the Swagger facebook page?  What can we improve?  So this is what the 51% who who already "like" us on FB had to say:
  • Number 1 thing - Love the Giveaways!
  • The other things that entice you are  - all the pictures, coupons, event info, our status updates, and deals!
  • Improvements?  Tell us who the items you are showcasing would be good for - for example Brides, Weddings, Girlfriends, Teachers, etc.  Will do!  I am trying my very very best to do this and promise to come back and read this post A LOT so I don't forget what you guys had to say!:)
8.  What do YOU want to see in the store in coming months?  This survey was completed before we headed off to market so I just wanted to let you guys know that if you mentioned a specific line we checked it out and you might see it at Swagger in the upcoming months!  Other things that were mentioned:
  • More baby stuff!  We saw this over and over again.  We focused on baby at market and believe we found some great lines!  We promise to update you as they come in!
  • More women's accessories such as jewelry, scarves, purses, clothes, etc.  Okay - so we try really hard to get and keep all these items in stock.  But it is SO HARD!  They sell really fast and when we reorder the companies are often out of stock or don't ship quickly.  Believe me when I say we are working on this!
  • More collegiate - coming in any day now!  We purchased wall hangings, serving pieces, glassware and more! 
  • More Scout Bags!  This was the one line that we already carry that was mentioned several times!  We already have the fall pieces in and promise to keep it in stock!
  • Items Made in the USA!  We are so happy that this was a trend we saw at market this summer!  We bought several lines for the store that are Made in the USA and will definitely let you know which ones they are when they come in!
  • More $10 -$20 gifts.  At Swagger, we pride ourselves on having fun and affordable *stuff* to give as gifts or keep for yourself.  We always have items in every category (baby, jewelry, tabletop, etc) that fit into this price range, but we made an even extra special effort for this Fall and Holiday Season!
  • And then, finally, lots of you asked us to carry Pandora Beads.  I will make this short and sweet.  We chose to sell Trollbeads - which we LOVE - and we can't sell both lines (neither manufacturer will allow it).  So come in and check out THE ORIGINAL... Trollbeads! 
9.  If you were the owner of Swagger, what would you change?  This is always my favorite question to ask - even if secretly I hold my breath and get a pit in my stomach before I open the results.:)  I appreciate all the positive feedback about how well you think we do - and that you wouldn't change a thing:)  But I also appreciate the more candid feedback.  So here you go - some of that:
  • Be Open on Sunday!  I compromised and have been open the last several years on Sundays during the Holiday Season.  But to be honest, I just can't do it the rest of the year.  We need a day of rest.  You have no idea how exhausting it is to run a gift shop:)!  (Actually we are often doing stuff for Swagger, during this day of rest, which we couldn't do if the store was actually open!)  So sorry - it doesn't look like this is going to happen any time soon - except for during the Holidays!
  • Stay open later during the week.  Okay so I think we can do this.  I am working on new extended hours for certain days of the week and will get back to you!
  • Don't let items "sell out".  So here is my buying strategy - Buy lots of different cool stuff so we always have fresh new items at Swagger! Unfortunately, that means that sometimes cool things we feature sell out and don't come back in - but you don't want everyone in Cary to have what you have - do you?  Basically if you see something you LOVE you better buy it because it might not be there when you finally make your mind up!   On the other hand, we do keep in a few best sellers - we would be crazy not too - and I think there might be a RIOT!:) 
  • Have a Frequent Buyer Program.  This one caught me off guard.  We have a frequent buyer program - with every $250 dollars you spend you get a $25 gift certificate.  We have given aways tens of thousands of dollars over the years.  Maybe who ever wrote this didn't realize that when we get your name at check out you are entered into the buyer program and WE keep up with all your purchases.  Nothing for the customer to keep up with!  Either way - I feel like we failed someone, because they didn't know this so I am very sorry! 
  • Have a Wish List.  We already do this for Trollbeads but we are brainstorming a better way to do it for the rest of the store!
  • Get rid of the kid play area.  This one has to be my favorite, because for every person who writes this, there is another mother or grandmother that writes "Thank you so much for having a children's play area!  Swagger is only place I can shop!"  So even if "whenever you come in there isn't a child in there" - be assured that it is used quite often!  I still believe that putting in the play area was one of the smartest things I ever did!