Small is Beautiful - Keeping Personalised Personal
Shopping online should be enjoyable. Buying something that catches your fancy or that you know your special-someone will adore is a fantastic experience, but the experience is changing. The rise of the mega-retailers, high-tech and ‘fast fashion’ means that shopping today is becoming more soulless, more removed and less personable. And we're told that is what modern shoppers are looking for… but is it?
Actually, many people, from millennials to your Giddy Aunts’ generation, are choosing to shop differently, and by differently, we mean locally, responsibly, sustainably and with a focus on quality goods and a desire to build relationships. Yes, the future of retail is changing, but not the way we think. And that change is right up Oh My Giddy Aunt’s alley. So, while we might not be one of the High-Tech-Big-Guys, we believe we’re even better. Here’s why.
Quality Over Quantity
Giddy Aunts have always, always chosen quality over quantity. And it turns out we’re not alone. More than half of the baby boomers, millennials and generations Xers do as well. Just like in our grandparents’ day, people today are looking to buy well and buy less.
Consumers understand the value of an item that is high quality, made well and will last for a long time. This means people are spending less time shopping at cheap, ‘fast fashion’ shops, and more time looking for shops that research and curate their high-quality, unique wares. We proudly embrace that ethos at Oh My Giddy Aunt. We understand that a weak latch on a baby bracelet, means that bracelet (and that memory) could easily be lost. And we know that poor quality metals make for poor-quality pieces of jewellery, that will be more likely thrown away then passed down the generations. And Giddy Aunts certainly don't want that!
A vast percentage of shoppers around the world, regardless of age or gender, want to spend their money with companies that care about environmental issues. Sustainable, recycled, repurposed – these issues are more than just words. Shoppers are proving they’re important with their dollars. People want to be part of a ‘circular economy’ by buying things that are reusable or recycled, or that have lasting quality. These are things that can be handed down from family member to family member or that can find a new home when they’re no longer needed.
People today want to align themselves with brands that resonate with their personal values. We understand that completely at OMGA HQ. When you order from us your packages are lovingly and carefully wrapped, BUT just about every piece of cardboard and bubble wrap that we use is recycled. And our products are made from silver and gold, precious metals that can stand the test of time, that can be handed down, or passed on rather than ending up as junk in landfill.
Customer service today is often considered synonymous with "customer speed". We often hear people say, ‘I received the package within two days – great customer service!’ While we agree speed is important, the future of customer service is actually customer care. People don’t just want things to just be fast, they want things to be personal, and done well. Customers are keen to buy from shops where their needs are understood, and where the product is just right, is at the right price point and arrives at the right time. An engraved, solid gold, anniversary bangle may not arrive as quickly one bought from an anonymous mass marketer, but it will arrive well-made and caringly etched with your personal words. And, if we are aware of your timing, we’ll move heaven and earth to make sure it gets to you in time for your special day.
Looking to the Local
Supporting local shop owners is good for them and good for the local economy. It means being thoughtful in where you spend your money, and with whom, not just on what. Shoppers today are looking for relationships, connection and experience. They want low-tech shopping experiences – those that provide transparency, authenticity and sustainability. Buying local is one of the best ways to achieve that relationship. The customer service person who answers your phone call is likely the same person wrapping your package (they sure are at OMGA!) and probably the same person you spoke to last year as well. When you have a problem, you have a real person to reach out and speak to... and not just a bot!
Being local to many of our customers means we get to know them well. We personally answer every single phone call, painstakingly hand-engrave personalised keepsakes and send out each and every package with a personal note. We thrive on those relationships as well.
People Buy from People
At the end of the day, people buy from people. Customers want to feel a connection to the brand, and the brand is the people. They’re looking for transparency, authenticity and even vulnerability. They don’t want perfection – they want the human experience. Our Chief Giddy Aunt, Nikki, used to be well known as the local fairy queen (she had her own fairy shop, one of the first in Queensland and possibly the longest surviving – lasting over two decades!). People still remember her from those days. That is part of her story, and it’s something that people still talk about.
Our customers know that we deal with each order personally, and we know the story behind the products, and also the customers’ stories behind their purchases. Their stories become our stories, and, in a way, our stories become theirs. Purchasing becomes less about data, analytics and price point, and more about relationships, people and personal values. And that’s just how we like it. We’re not one of the giant Super Sites; and we’re super proud of that.