So, I’ve always been a shopper of opportunity. I like to buy from a handmaking-mother-of-three-online-boutique-in-the –suburban-spare-room but in reality, I make a lot of my son’s purchases at Kmart, Target and the like because I don’t have time to think. A while back, I needed to get some pants for my son to take on holiday. I decided to shop online because I had zero time.
Without thinking I went to a megastore – let’s call it Kmarget. Kmarget had a massive selection of cheap and cheerful cotton blend bits and bobs for boys. I picked a pair of their premium pants (premium being $16 not $4) and proceeded to check out. They were at the warehouse and would be there in approximately 7 days – well that’s annoying – I was after some instant gratification – but whatever. It asked me to select my nearest store, I did without really paying any attention. Bam, order done.
Three hours later, I’m procrastinating on Facebook and I see a boys clothing sale. I click through and see some uber cute boys pants on sale for $15 down from the standard $25 online boutique price. $11 standard shipping. BARGAIN. BAM. Paypal. Address. Sold.
In keeping with my lack of attention when shopping online, I had failed to select the colour I wanted from the boutique. I had a nice email asking me if I wanted blue or black. I wrote back confirming black and apologising for being crap at shopping online.
Two days later, I received two things:
The boutique’s pants arrived by post. Inside the postage bag the pants were wrapped in tissue paper and tied with string. On the string was a little thank you card and a voucher for 15% off my next purchase.
The other thing I received was an email from Kmarget letting me know that my pants had been dispatched from the warehouse and would be at my local store in 5 days. Wait, what? My local store? So, I still had to make the trek to Kmarget, line up at the lay-by counter behind the 70 year old pensioners there lay-buying their cat food all to pick up a pair of pants. This wouldn’t do. I called them. I spoke to an 11 year old called Brittany who had zero idea what I was talking about, so she transferred me to 7 year old Dylan, then to 10 year old Tiff and then to my-voice-may-never-break-Jax and then finally to Teeny (it was like stage diving at a Beiber concert) who told me that once it’s dispatched that’s it. I should have taken more care online when ordering because it costs an extra fee to get it delivered to my home. And yes, despite it being at the local warehouse, it does take a week to arrive.
*sigh* I resigned myself to a trek to a Kmarget when it was the EXACT thing I’d hoped to avoid in the first place.
So let’s look at the leader board here.
The winner for service – hands down the online boutique.
The winner for speed – hands down the online boutique.
The winner for price – Kmarget by a nose. The boutique sold to me on sale and the postage was maybe a dollar more expensive had I managed to get the Kmarget pants delivered. But by the time I drove to the shops and wasted half a Saturday with the great unwashed, the online boutique wins by disqualification!
The most important reason for choosing an online boutique store? Value – well, here’s the thing! One month has passed and both pairs of pants have had a rough time (they were warn everyday for a month on holiday). My son is not a delicate flower, he’s a “take life by the throat” kind of kid. They’ve been in mud, they’ve been dragged down “brickwork-cum-slippery-slide”, they’ve fallen from scooters and out of trees. They BOTH look a little worse for wear. The difference is, the Kmarget brand ones were marketed as “kid tough” and were not very kid tough. They’re not kid tough when warn every second day for a month. That marketing was relying on your kid growing out of them before they started to fray. In reality, they’re just regular tough. The boutique ones were pretty, they had lots of lovely attention to detail and had cool-as-school cuffs. They too looked worse for wear but no more so than the “built tough” even though they were branded “built stylish”. So for my $15 investment, I got a stylishly gorgeously, make-other-mothers-jealous pair of boy’s pants that were made well enough to handle some hard work. For my $16 pair I got very plain, straightforward pants – no bells and whistles, just that standard kindy-wear style. Despite selling on toughness, they lasted about as well as a brand not known for toughness. And I had to put on a bra and trek to bloody Kmarget when it was the EXACT thing I wanted to avoid buying my kid’s clothing online.
Yes, I’m dopey and missed the fact that the mega online store didn’t provide free home delivery. I made a dopey mistake on the online boutique website too – but it was handled far better and faster.
I always think of Kmarget purchases as the cheap, cheerful, fast way to do things but when you break it down, it’s really not. With Facebook serving as one MASSIVE online shopping centre where I can browse boutiques, sales and every imaginable specialty shop, there’s no more hunting involved than there is at Kmargets mega website. It takes a lot of advertising and/or evidence to change consumer behaviour, I’m now convinced that it’s smarter to do all my online kids shopping at boutiques.
Written by the lovely Dana from Talk About Creative!