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Any knitting shop owners out there?

(14 Posts)
KnitWitKnits Thu 25-Apr-13 13:22:43

I have a question! I'm a keen knitter, and I've been brainstorming ideas on how to grow my communications business. I wondered - do any yarn shop owners out there use/would consider using text messages to contact their customers? I'm talking bulk text messages (done from a computer).

This would either be for marketing purposes, or to let loyal customers know that their ordered yarn had come in (that sort of thing).

Texting directly to a customer's phone is a great way to nurture loyalty and rapport, would this be a (small) cost that you'd consider for your business? Or am I barking up the wrong tree? smile

BigBoobiedBertha Thu 25-Apr-13 19:31:58

I have an online shop so not the same as a RL shop but I wouldn't have thought it would be that useful. For marketing purposes, you need pictures if you are selling things like yarn because of the colours and texts aren't the best way of getting those to your customers.

As far as letting customers know that their order was in, you could let them know by email if it were an online order but I suppose you could send a text if you took phone nos. when they placed an order in the shop. However, do you really need any specialist help with that? Could the shop owner not just send a text?

Now I have put a downer on that one blush, I don't know where your expertise lies exactly but you could do what people are doing for accountancy firms (DH has one, I work for him including dabbling in the marketing) is build an app for their shop. I didn't get what how an app would help a business like an accountants or even a shop but it seems to be a vehicle for sending messages direct to somebody's phone and being a sort of mobile store as another version of a website with various interactive gadgets built in. The accounting one has various calculators on it and the ability to work out things for the client and send in the info direct to the firm. Off the top of my head you could have one to work out how much yarn you would need to finish an item if you want to substitute yarns, details of the ranges you stock, links to blogs or freebies like patterns etc as well as alerts if new things are in, details of special offers exclusive to the app and that kind of thing. Tbh, I will leave the thinking to you as far as what is on it. grin

The downside is that it isn't cheap - cheapest I have seen is £1k which might be a lot for a small shop for something to give away for nothing. Also it might not be what your expertise lies either so it may be of no use whatsoever as an idea for you personally. I am probably not the best person to ask about texts either as I rarely send or receive any. Maybe I am typical of my demographic though (mid 40's and a knitter)? Just thinking as I type here but aware that I might be rambling now! HTH anyway.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Thu 25-Apr-13 19:36:57

Mid 40s crocheter here, while I'm happy to get texts ti remind me that orders are ready I do not want marketing texts. I keep up with local businesses I use by liking their FB pages, much less intrusive than having my phone beep at me.

KnitWitKnits Thu 25-Apr-13 20:19:07

Wow, thanks for your responses! I know what you mean about just sending a text to someone if their order is in (and probably in that instance an email is just as good). I was thinking more of things on a bigger scale (like one message sent to a couple of hundred people). Fair usage policies on normal phone tariffs might ban stuff like that (plus that's quite a lot of mad texting!).

I suppose I was thinking more of texts as a marketing and promotions tool (like I get messages from my hairdresser when they have money off promotions).

The system would have to be an 'opt-in' thing, as unwanted texts are far more annoying than (say) unwanted emails.

Thanks for your suggestions, BBB, but my background is not technical! The app thing sounds great, but is making my head spin just thinking about it...

Maybe the knitting world isn't ready for such a thing smile

Jaynebxl Sat 27-Apr-13 08:13:50

Is anyone ready for marketing texts in any sphere? I don't think I am. To me marketing texts seem too intrusive. I don't mind marketing emails but my phone isn't for business, it is for friends and family and I don't want to start getting bothered by marketing texts. Sorry to rain on your parade! My one exception is that I appreciate texts from my dentist reminding me of my appointment!

KnitWitKnits Sat 27-Apr-13 11:39:35

I totally agree with random & unsolicited marketing texts, it would drive me mad! I do like getting messages from my hairdresser though letting me know of promotions they have on, but it is something I agreed to and want to hear about (as it is relevant to me). I was thinking along those lines, ie an opt in. Great to hear everyone's views though :-)

KnitWitKnits Sat 27-Apr-13 11:42:45

I totally agree with random & unsolicited marketing texts, it would drive me mad! I do like getting messages from my hairdresser though letting me know of promotions they have on, but it is something I agreed to and want to hear about (as it is relevant to me). I was thinking along those lines, ie an opt in. Great to hear everyone's views though :-)

tribpot Sat 27-Apr-13 12:20:44

I find texts too intrusive for this purpose. The knitting shops that I use have a weekly newsletter with deals and free patterns and stuff in, also available via FB/their own websites (and, er, Google+ I suppose!). I would really NOT want to receive texts from them.

Texts about orders would be fine but as a customer I wouldn't differentiate between a shop that did this and one that didn't. Texts work better for me for things which are time-sensitive, like hairdresser or doctor's appointments, or to confirm when an order is going to be delivered to my house.

KnitWitKnits Sat 27-Apr-13 18:13:04

Ok, maybe this wasn't such a genius brainwave grin

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Sat 27-Apr-13 20:17:57

I was thinking about this a bit more, surely systems like this are available already, my DCs school has a group text system that they remind us about INSET days etc with.

tribpot Sat 27-Apr-13 20:25:55

WhoKnows - I assume KnitWith's value proposition would be the content of the texts and how to target the right customers, rather than the tech that would make it happen?

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Sat 27-Apr-13 21:08:57

Ah, ok.

I'd still prefer emails or FB though.

KnitWitKnits Sat 27-Apr-13 23:08:35

WhoKnows- yes, the system your school uses sounds similar to the system I have for my business (my small online text biz already has school/nursery customers). I was just musing about ways to grow the business. Maybe I should stick with schools!! smile

memphis83 Sat 27-Apr-13 23:16:17

Most of our customers who make orders just ask us to hold it and they will pop by once order is due in.
Some who live further away ask for a call. I rarely get given a mobile number. It tends to be our olded customers who ask us to call their home or younger customers who work in the city so pass by regularly so no need to call them.
It is something we wouldn't consider.

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