The Story so far...
Since we closed our retail premises at the beginning of August 2009 and started focusing 100% on the mail order and internet side of the business, Scott Country International has seen a significant change in it's fortunes.
It all started back at the beginning of 2001. The website (www.scottcountry.co.uk) was started back in 2001 in the aftermath of the crippling foot & mouth crisis. It initially grew from a simple 5 page information site into a fully operational e-commerce site at the beginning of 2002. Each year that followed up until May 2008 saw a continual rise in investment for the website which was due to the ever growing percentage of overall total sales.
In May 2008 we teamed up with a large internet marketing company whilst maintaining the services of our original website developer. This three way partnership had an immediate effect on our internet sales.
By June 2009 it became apparent that we needed to concentrate all our efforts on the website and mail order side of our business. We took the 'difficult' decision to close the retail premises to the general public on 1st August. It was a 'scary' thing to do because the shop had provided us with a certain amount of security for 8.5 years. The shop was then quickly converted into offices with two warehouses at the rear of the building.
In October 2009 our website recorded a record number of hits totalling 3.3 million. That figure was beaten again in November with a total of nearly 3.5 million hits.
Each year from 2001 has seen a steady increase in turnover, but the last four months have seen us take a huge step forward.
These results prove that concentrating 100% on our web activities was indeed the right thing to do.
The reality of all this is, is that we could never envisage or go back to operating from a retail outlet. In some respects it's a shame to have to close a beautiful 18th century shop on three floors ,but the reality is that consumer habits are changing, and change was therefore inevitable in order to keep growing.
Sales generated through having the right product and selling tool is one thing, but that in itself is not enough.
I'm a firm believer that the customer service aspect of our business is one of the key factors to our online success. We are now even easier to contact with the recent introduction of our online 'Live Chat' facility where we are able to handle any product or service enquiry. Another key aspect of our improved service is down to the introduction of UPS as our main courier. This has brought forward better management of customer orders together with an infinitely faster more secure service with accurate reporting.
As part of the changes at Scott Country International, we now have a fully operational lighting and filming studio with the sole aim of generating better product images and informational product videos for customer viewing. These images or videos (depending on product complexity) are embedded to the product pages which require a more detailed visual explanation.
Any video footage is then uploaded to the Scott Country website which in turn is uploaded to the website 'Youtube'.
We have since begun the long process of producing product images and videos, which will take a considerable amount of time to implement completely. Evidence of this is now visible on our website (for example, Baron gun luggage, Laksen tweed jackets, EXO2 heated clothing, Ridgeline clothing and a few others).
There are other projects on the horizon, and we will share this with you at a later date.
In the mean time, have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New year!