Go online and we’ll buy from you, shoppers tell retailers

ISLANDERS would spend more money with local retailers if they could shop online 24 hours a day, according to the conclusions of a new survey.

Matthew Robins of Webreality
Matthew Robins of Webreality

ISLANDERS would spend more money with local retailers if they could shop online 24 hours a day, according to the conclusions of a new survey.

The results also showed that shoppers were frustrated that Jersey-owned retailers had been slow to get online and that Islanders would pay more to buy quickly locally.

When stores are closed, online shoppers wanted to be able to either purchase online immediately or at least be able to see that the Jersey-based seller had the item they wanted to buy in stock.

Comments for: "Go online and we’ll buy from you, shoppers tell retailers"

the thin wallet

not such a bad idea .

and the goods could be delivered to your home at a time when you are in .

as for paying more to get quickly .

it depends what it is .

and how wide the margin of mark up .

cancer

Agree with the concept, not sure about the reality. The delivery service to your door will add further costs, not to mention the cost to the retailer of setting up the website.

If anyone did it, I'd give it a try. But a bit too modern and racy for Jersey, isn't it?

Anon

Collect in store, maybe?

Robert

Says the man offering web services!

They will only buy if the price is competative and if they can afford it at this very hard times!

James Wiley

Which is why people will be going overseas to get their website design and hosting services. Have you seen how much some local businesses charge?

NB

Do you actually know what work is involved in the development of a website, particularly one which doesn't use a generic off the shelf shopping cart system?

You may think your nephew can knock you up a website for a couple of hundred pounds but i can assure you, there will be a marked difference in the quality of the code (which is a key factor in SEO) usability and aesthetics when designed and developed by someone with a decade of experience in all of the above.

It takes several hundred man hours to produce a good quality e-commerce website, if you are unwilling to spend the money required to ensure those man hours are used efficiently and professionally then perhaps that says more about you failing to grasp the skill required and being 'cheap' than the prices charged by local agencies.

James Wiley

No I don't but I get my people in India to do it for me and they do it very well, exactly what I say, slick professional look, high rankings on google and at a very, very competitive price.

I get bespoke programming done in Russia.

The joys of internet shopping.

the thin wallet

ah, india.

the boot is on and well laced up now.

they churn out IT folk by the 1,000's

its the cost of living in this fair isle that driving the prices .

Anon

It also opens them up globally not just local, and also they can use the drop-ship model which could mean they can compete on price.

It then becomes about brand and marketing, and we have the intellect to compete on tha.

Darius Pearce

No drop shipping is just a way for a retailer to pass on all the risk of dealing with a customer to a third party who will receive only a very small portion of the reward.

There is so much internet fraud and abuse of the distance selling regulations that whatever profit the drop shipper allows you will be eaten away.

As the employment laws have discouraged people employing people, so the DSRs will discourage people selling on the internet or make it so expensive that no one will want to buy online.

Retailers should be aware that the law is balanced such that internet buyer fraud is only going to get worse as time goes on, just as employees harangue JACS with spurious cases, so internet buyers are returning an ever increasing percentage of their purchases, or outright stealing (e.g buying things then returning something else in an envelope by recorded delivery), which will of course push up prices or put sellers out of business.

If you aren't already online, let's face it the internet retailing is 15 years old and everything online has already been carved up and shared out, you are better advised to improve the customer service you offer in store.

Back in 1998, that was the time to start selling online. Internet sales are now in a consolidation phase where those businesses who are already firmly established are growing, but the learning curve is getting steeper and the barriers to entry are getting higher all the time as more and more major manufacturers are moving to block or limit the sale of their products over the internet.

It's now a bandwagon and too late to jump on it.

toby

What'll happen is people will find it far easier to compare prices and therefore Jersey retailers will lose out even further.

Presently if you are in a shop and see a product you like you often will buy it on impulse without considering the online price.

James Wiley

The fundamental flaw toby is that you can only compare prices of branded goods on the internet (otherwise how will you know it is a fair comparison?)... if you buy branded goods you are being ripped off, you can get the generic equivalent for a fraction of the price.

I like to research on the internet, print off the lowest price I can find then go to the local stores, they will normally beat the price (well local businesses where the owner is behind the counter will).

Even if they do not have the item in stock they will order it for me from the wholesaler.

That way they can tell me if I have made a bad choice of product and I get the benefit of expert advice and bargain prices.

Jersey people just do not know how to shop.

Parktown Prawn

"Jersey people just do not know how to shop."

I think you'll find that they DO.....that is why hardly anyone shops locally anymore ;-)

James Wiley

Everyone I know shops locally, they may not spend as high a percentage of their total spend locally as they used to, but to suggest that people do not shop locally is self-evidently false.

I have no objection to people paying more for things than me, but they are so used to having everything spoon fed, that I like to point out more sensible ways to shop which will lead to paying less for their goods.

Parktown Prawn

OK James, whatever you say.

Just look at the high street.....it is clearly evident online shopping is taking over.

Kermit

"Jersey people just do not know how to shop" say James who get his work done in India and Russia.

Thanks for contributing ...

Sandman

"I like to research on the internet, print off the lowest price I can find then go to the local stores, they will normally beat the price"

Where?

I have never found one that will do this.

Please do share this with us all.

Propaganda

I'm intrigued James, can you pleae give some examples of "non branded" goods you have successfully bought at lower price in Jersey after showing the shop owner your online quote?

James Wiley

Clothing I generally get from Primark in the UK or the hyper market in France. Although I like to shop at Amy and Son, Chex and the shop in Beresford Street who sells Paul Smith for my Sunday best. I forget the name now, where I get discounts for cash),

Virtually any jewellery shop in Jersey (which is my preferred gift to the ladies in my life) will give discounts when you ask, then I am afraid the majority of my non-essential shopping is spent on collectibles and antiques (as a hedge against inflation) and again the local shops will all give discounts if you ask.

I have a simple rule when shopping avoid King and Queen Street and shop in the side streets and only where the owner is behind the counter.

Never spend a piddling amount of money always make it worth the owners while to give you discount, so I look to spend at least £250 if I spend at all.

Normal shopper

Primark UK and hypermarkets in france kinda says it all.

James Wiley

It says that I know where to go to get the best prices - and that the best prices are not online.

Not everything in the shops here is the cheapest, but for a surprisingly wide range of products in such a small place, it is. And you can get even better prices if you make an effort.

Quod ergat demonstrandum.

Of course if you prefer to sit at your computer and have your food delivered right into your mouth without your fingers leaving the keys then good luck to you and that gastric band procedure.

I prefer to live well and derive great enjoyment from interacting with real live human beings.

Parktown Prawn

James

You seem to be preaching to us all about buying locally.

You say "I like to research on the internet, print off the lowest price I can find then go to the local stores, they will normally beat the price (well local businesses where the owner is behind the counter will)."

1) you still haven't named these local businesses....this may help to increase their custom if it is true.

2) you obviously have too much time on your hands to waste by researching for the lowest price on the internet then scouring St Helier for a retailer to match that price.

Then later you say "Clothing I generally get from Primark in the UK or the hyper market in France."

So why don't you "go to the local stores, they will normally beat the price" or "Even if they do not have the item in stock they will order it for me from the wholesaler" for these "non-branded" products.

"Never spend a piddling amount of money always make it worth the owners while to give you discount, so I look to spend at least £250 if I spend at all."

What sound advice James :-/

Maybe it is actually YOu who does not know how to shop! ;-)

You do make me laugh though....clothes from Primark, but £250 jewellery gifts for "the ladies in my life".

You sound quite mixed up to me ;-)

"I prefer to live well and derive great enjoyment from interacting with real live human beings."

Even further evidence to prove that you don't really shop locally now James hey?

Interaction with "live human beings" in Jersey retail now is one of the main reasons a lot of people go online. To interact you need to be able to communicate or show interest....unfortunately there are not many shop assistants who can do these basics.

Amazing

James, what are you on?

You contradict yourself so many times its laughable.

"Clothing I generally get from Primark in the UK or the hyper market in France. Although I like to shop at Amy and Son, Chex and the shop in Beresford Street who sells Paul Smith for my Sunday best. I forget the name now, where I get discounts for cash)"

In a previous comment (No 4) you state that if you buy "branded goods" you are being ripped off... Yeah James, all the shops you mentioned (Chex, Amy & Son etc) ONLY sell "branded goods" and what is Paul Smith? Oh yeah a famous brand... So you admit you're being ripped off?

We all realise you were merely trying to show how "sophisticated" you are by stating your preferred cloths/shops (except Primark/french hyper markets, thats just weird), perhaps you were trying to attract more "Ladies" into your life... Well, good luck to you... I think we can all see, you need all the luck you can get!

Still... Keep smiling.

Love & Hugs.

xxx

Propaganda

The more I read the more I am convinced that James Wiley is just another troll. As others have already pointed out the posts are contradictory, usually inflammatory and often plain nonsense.

All classic signs of the internet troll. Good trolls make there posts plausible and can remember what they previously said, James Wiley is not that good.

Lolly

I can only nod, Propaganda and say "Quod ergat demonstrandum".

Mario

It would help if James could spell in Latin. This failure has undermined his attempt at trying to be superior. He should just use Q.E.D. it is much easier to write.

Thinker

Online buyers in the UK are protected by the sale of goods act which comes with a number of protections including the right to cancel up to seven days even if the goods have been received and are not faulty. If a similar law does not apply in Jersey then online sellers will be at a disadvantage.

Ultimately price will be a major factor as well as product availability.

Speed of delivery is unlikely to be a major influencing factor. Buyers reasonably expect 2-3 days delivery if the price is right, with a price premium paid for in frequent urgent purchases.

Sounds more like Matthew Robins is talking his own book

James Wiley

You mean the Distance Selling (Jersey) Law 2007?

Anon

See above. Why not collect in store? Best of both worlds.

James Wiley

Interesting survey, but sadly it overlooks the fundamental reality of Jersey.

Jersey is a tiny place with very few people, certainly not enough to offer the range of goods people want, and certainly not enough for local retailers to get goods at the bargain prices that Amazon does for example.

Jersey is a town not a city so why do you expect the same range of goods as say Southampton which has far more customers, who are able to support far more businesses.

Certain local retailers are doing very well but that is based on international sales and not sales in Jersey.

The rules are basic, buy niche and sell overseas - don't try to compete with the mega corporations like Amazon.

The message Jersey people are sending to Jersey businesses is don't bother us, we won't bother you.

The only losers will be the JEP and other local media who won't get advertising revenue and of course the Jersey people who will see their taxes going up.

Parktown Prawn

James

"Jersey is a town not a city so why do you expect the same range of goods as say Southampton which has far more customers, who are able to support far more businesses."

Jersey has at least 100,000 people, which is similar (or not much bigger) in size to the likes of Norwich, Preston, Exeter, Gloucester, Oxford, Cambridge....

Some cities like Southampton, Newcastle, Swansea, Portsmouth, Stoke, Sunderland and York are only about 2-3 times larger.

Why shouldn't we have the shopping diversity these places have?

You could also argue that even if Jersey has a potentially smaller customer base....at least the average customer spend is likely to be higher here thanks to the privileged position most islanders are in......and what about all the alleged tourists?

James Wiley

Because all of those cities will not just rely on the inhabitants in the city but for 50 to 100 miles around, making the customer base far bigger than just the immediate population.

No one passes through Jersey/ visits on holidays anymore because our government charges too much to people to come here.

For perishable items that are needed by nearly the whole population, we will always need local retailers.

For specialist items then you just won't see them

MK2K

Yes but also, places like Southampton will have smaller shopping towns nearby to feed the 50 / 100 miles around, Jersey do not have that so we should be entitled to shopping diversity of these places, as Parktown Prawn has said

Parktown Prawn

....it works for Valley Foods and even some local fast food restaurants so why not any other (larger) local retailer?

Co-Op Homemaker? De Gruchy's? Waitrose? Marks & Spencers? Why can't they offer online services?

Valley Foods and (some) restaurants provide total online ordering with free delivery (normally over a certain amount)....although it is normal practice (for me anyway) to tip the drivers.

You can see what you are ordering, know what you are paying and, in the case of Valley Foods, you can specify when you want your goods delivered.

Now THAT is a convenient service!

Jon

Marks and spencer do have an online service. They just won't deliver to Jersey. So we often lose out on UK sale prices and offers.

As for the survey, we have a local web firm asking questions to drive interest in their services. Questions can easily be asked to get the answer you want. Of course some people will pay more to get things quickly, but most people will think ahead about their purchase and avoid last minute extra cost.

James Wiley

Well why not just phone them up and place an order it's just as easy and you actually get to talk to a human being? Why not just go down to the shop and pick one out (fully pre-armed with the price you are willing to pay so you can negotiate/haggle?)

Food is a unique case - we all need food and it is perishable therefore there will always be local demand. But I want to have a particular specialist shop - well I don't expect to see one over here, unless it is selling internationally but just happens to be based here.

What you have not explained is why you think it is preferable to sit on a computer and shop rather than get up, walk round, interact with human beings... are you agoraphobic?

There's something quite worrying about wanting to be able to sit on your computer and have everything bought to you.

Buying from a catalogue, which is really all internet shopping is, was never that popular before computers and it will never get to be that popular even with computers.

Fatima

What's so worrying about people wanting to shop online and have everything brought to them?? Not all of us want to waste our time off work running around in town looking for stuff most shops won't even have in stock! Not to mention IT IS CHEAPER to buy online. And I am sorry but I just have to laugh at you saying that internet shopping will never be ''that popular'', are you kidding me? Btw, are you ever going to tell us where are these shops that you go to that beat the prices you find online?

Parktown Prawn

"What you have not explained is why you think it is preferable to sit on a computer and shop rather than get up, walk round, interact with human beings… are you agoraphobic?"

Do I really need to James?

Ok, here goes...

1) It saves me time and effort which I can put to better use.

2) It saves me parking and petrol costs

3) It saves me from receiving poor and rude service

4) It saves me the hassle of trying to shop around ignorant families, standing in your way chatting and their screaming kids

5) I can do it anytime I choose...not just when the doors open

6) I can take time to look at all products on offer

7) If I change my mind about a purchase or purchases I can simply remove the item or empty my electronic basket in seconds and log out of the website....instead of wasting time getting into my car to drive home....wasting parking and petrol costs.

It would be nice to interact with other human beings....I do it all the time through my work and social life....however, it is not essential to my shopping experience thank you.

I will point out the obvious to you....it would help even more to inetract with other "human beings" if they could speak my language properly or showed some good customer service.

This is something I find very rare in Jersey retail. The best experiences I have had of late is at JEC...and by young, local lads who were very attentive and knowledgable of the products they were selling. I now try to shop there first whenever I can as a result.

Disappointed in Jsy

Very well said :) Exactly my thoughts. With a young family and working and studying I have very little spare time - hmmm, spend it walking around town having stopped off to get my paycard and petrol then spend half my time trying to explain to the shop assistant what i want using sign language as they dont speak englsh OR get online in seconds, search all products and bingo it will be delivered in a couple of days! Must also agree with comment about JEC though, went up there last weekend and got excellent service :)

Wally

"Food is a unique case"

I think the writer probably means the non-food items. ROFL.

"Why not just go down to the shop and pick one out (fully pre-armed with the price you are willing to pay so you can negotiate/haggle?)"

Local shops will not haggle. I have a list of examples that is too long to recount and gave up wasting my time a long time ago.

"What you have not explained is why you think it is preferable to sit on a computer and shop"

If this actually needs explaining, it is quite concerning.

"There’s something quite worrying about wanting to be able to sit on your computer"

Welcome to the 21st century

Darius Pearce

It's just that a business is simply not sustainable on local trade - there are not enough people in Jersey, there are no longer many tourists on which all local businesses have relied for the past sixty years.

But if you go online then your focus is still not going to be on selling to locals, I sell more to Australia than Jersey.

I will haggle, I will give discounts for cash (folding notes not cards) on purchases of a reasonable value, I'll drive it your door, my prices are lower in store than online and I am already the lowest online.

I like to sell to people in Jersey it breaks up the monotony having someone come through the door, but even if I sold absolutely nothing to anyone in Jersey, it simply does not matter.

The fact that you have a misguided belief that things are cheaper online, is not my concern, you are not my target market, I am happy to deal only with the well-informed.

What Jersey people need to understand though is that this is just another government smokescreen to divert the blame from where it really lies - the government - to someone else, anyone else, everyone else.

Cut harbour and airport landing fees, remove GST, people would come back to buy their goods duty free here and prices would naturally fall. But I am not holding my breath for it to happen.

Slasher

Time for a GST/Income Tax audit for all these businesses so keen on cash?

Darius Pearce

I am not registered for GST and as a company I pay no corporate tax... so little point in an audit.

What you fail to understand is just how expensive business banking is...

They charge me to take a card, they charge me when the money from visa/mastercard goes in the bank, they charge when I take the money out of the bank.

Cash discounts simply are a way of representing the saving I am making on bank charges if you pay in cash.

C Le Verdic

If you (Darius) are not registered fot GST does that mean that you must not collect it? If you do collect it, does that mean that you don't have to pay it on to the treasury?

As we don't see anyone advertising "I don't charge GST", does that mean that low turnover traders include it in their prices but don't pay it onwards?

Darius Pearce

That is not how my pricing is arrived at...

I start from the UK RRP and deduct the VAT, just as my father always did. That is the price in the shop.

On the internet I then add on all the costs of selling on the internet (which varies by destination). That is the lowest price on the internet, but higher than the price in the shop.

Jewellery has always been very competitively priced in Jersey and continue to be to this day.

Overpopulated

I don't like shopping in St Helier, the shops are pretty boring, the precinct as said below is filled with our benefit mothers with tax payer paid for babies and prams- not good for my blood pressure to see where our tax is being squandered.

Go into a shop and a non english speaking person may be bothered to serve you.

Food shopping can be done without having to go into St Helier, I have not been there for well over a month and anything other I need has been bought on line. I save my pleasureable shopping for visits to London, Italy etc with interesting shops

Rick

It's all the unintelligible yabbering in St Helier which makes it so unpleasant to go there.

Mario

James you make me laugh!

C Le Verdic

Survey, eh?

Did it have questions like:

Are you frustrated that Jersey-owned retailers have been slow to get online?

Would you pay more to buy quickly locally? When stores are closed, would you want to be able to either purchase online immediately or at least be able to see that the Jersey-based seller had the item they wanted to buy in stock?

That last one is particularly clever as the first part of it is automatically carried by agreeing with the second part, if there is only one tick required.

Most surveys are heavily loaded with easy to answer, no need to commit to, suggestions which lead the results exactly where the instigators wanted in the first place.

Disclaimer: I haven't actually read this survey but I've seen plenty of others, enough to know how they work.

Matthew Robins

Hi

The survey results (and questions) can be downloaded at this link: http://bit.ly/UPMH0i. Hopefully you'll find them less "loaded" than you fear!

Matthew

brian cant

By the way, bought my 4kg bags of cat food from Amazon yesterday. Went on a regular delivery scheme, £18 per bag per month. Cost in local stores: £29.

Saves me schlepping to the garden centre, saves £11 a month, never run out. What's not to like?

If retailers only sell stuff you can get online then they are simply middlemen who add no extra value, and if you can cut them out then it is made not to do so.

Buy local means buying stuff made locally. I do this whenever I can with food. But if its not made locally then you are just paying someone to take delivery of foreign stuff and add a mark-up. The gain for the customer is not having to wait 48 hours for delivery. But that doesn't often justify paying 30-50% more.

Parktown Prawn

So true and point well made.

Loco

This is exactly what Wheways (sports shop opposite town post office) did. I suppose the benchmark would be to see how they're getting on... The site is still up, so they are still operational.

Judging by no-one on this forum actually mentioning that they went on-line, I wonder how widely know it is that they're on-line.

Parktown Prawn

I wasn't aware of this :-/

Mike

Because online shopping for non-food items is almost always quicker, easier and cheaper than in St Helier, retailers need to offer something that is distinct, not try to replicate the online experience, which they can't do. Helpful staff make a big difference - Amy's has been mentioned, and it is a delightful place to shop in - but when staff don't care and can't speak English, why not one-click order and then get on with something else? Many shops feel tired because the need for them is no longer there.

Propaganda

Two years ago we needed a new mattress for one of our children and I let my wife take control of the purchase.

She shopped locally, we had to wait over 4 weeks for it to be delivered.

Last year we needed a new mattress and I tool control of the buying. Bought online, VAT deducted, delivery to Jersey £25, over £200 than local supplier, delivered within one week.

I only shop local when I want something they stock and can supply today. If I can wait a week for it online is always cheaper, quicker and more convenient for me.

Born in the 80's

Would I buy online from a local firm? Depends, if they are the same price as other retailers on a like for like basis. Unfortunately I could not care less about overheads a shop has, if you cannot match your direct competitors and have to mark up further meaning your more expensive then that’s your issue and not mine.

I did once order from from wheways after they went online only. It took near on 3 weeks for my “in stock” item to be delivered incidently I ordered something from Japan the same day and this turned up within 5 days. The item from Japan was heavier, cost more and the postage was cheaper.

I think most bricks and mortar retailers are clutching at straws to be honest. How many have teamed up to share warehouse space or teamed up on orders so the costs are lowered? How many had tried to negotiate better rents, delivery costs etc? It’s a sad state of affairs when a local brick and mortar retailer has a sale bonanza yet the likes of amazon etc sell the item for less than the sale price anyway. I can order what ever I need walking to the car after work, sitting on the throne, running on the treadmill at the gym and 9 times out of 10 my item will be on my door step in 48 hours meaning. I can enjoy my Saturdays doing hobbies, spending time with family etc rather than stomping around a miserable St Helier.