Friday, January 25, 2013

Chatty News

25th January 2013

Hi ,
I have spent this week in Spain, at our sister company here.
The one thing you can say about southern Spain is that it's the best place to get a decent English breakfast. :)
Apart from that, at least it's not knee deep in snow, although the mountains are frosted. In Blighty it's all we talk about, the weather I mean. But here in AW Spain they will talk about anything.. all the time. They love to chat.
So I shouldn't have been surprised when we booted up the new chat feature we have on the UK site in Spain (bottom right-hand corner of the page), within seconds customers were communicating with us, like ducks to water.
In the UK about one in twenty visitors will use it. In Spain it's about one in eight.
I also read that despite the dire economic weather the Spanish are the most prolific users of smart phones in the world. Yep they all seem to have very fast thumbs. This brings out the amateur anthropologist in me. I love to compare cultures as I'm travelling. Must check all our euro sites we have to see which race is most chatty on-line.
Meanwhile back at base things are warming up..(at least in-doors) lots of new stock arriving for the spring. Three containers over the next few day.. Forgive me I get exited about such things. It's just that all that work months ago finally comes together when the stock is delivered and goes on-line.
Nothing makes me more happy than when you (our customers) like the new lines. That's my job satisfaction. Do let me know what you think.. feel free to chat!
Next week, I'll be in (completely snow free) India. News from there.
Take care, keep warm, happy trading.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Snow time like the present

Last week I was telling you about the new chat system (read it here). I'm so excited that you seem to love it and embrace it.
Greetings from Andalusia in Spain where I am working with our sister company this week.
Yes your right, it's a smart move escaping the snow, but this weekend we are facing major gales. So much for that plan. :(
Anyway shortly I'm off to India. That should definitely be warmer I think. I will be there for Valentines Day.. they call it V-Day and the tradition is to send your loved one a pair of knickers.
The traditionalist killjoys hate it of course, so it is always a running battle between the modern youth and the stuffy old guys. Should be fun.
Speaking of Valentines.. we have a great "better than free shipping" deal with bonus valentines pens to brighten up your deals for the big love-in weekend.
Hope your not snowed in where you are. We have lots of customers in remote places... at AW we are thinking about you. In the worst case you can at least plan your valentine offers and displays, until the snow clears. Snow time like the present... :) sorry about that.
Back to Spain.. where we are just introducing the chat system on the website (last weeks news). Good news here is that despite the financial crisis (which believe me is bad), things at AW Spain are at least on the up. Sales last year are just in the black, so I'm happy.
One thing I have noticed that is really good in Spain is that the corruption and black money deals are been swept away. Spain is fast sorting itself out. I just bought a small house here (with a nice view) and there was no question or possibility of paying chunks in cash to avoid taxes. This suites me, because I like things straight, but it's also a refreshing change. Practices and attitudes are changing now as rapidly as the skyline did a few years ago. I feel very positive for Spain, because when the crisis passes this country will come out of it leaner and fitter.
More good news, you may remember me telling you about my futile attempts to change the siesta culture at AW Spain - this means closing for an hour and a half at lunch. Well from next week we have managed to stagger breaks and organise ourselves to be open all day. Just like the rest of Europe. See.. pigs can fly!
More good news next week.
Hope you can stay warm and cosy and dodge those snow balls.
All the very best

Friday, January 11, 2013

Welcome Welcome Welcome

11th January 2013

Hi ,
Well it's a new year, next stop Valentines Day (yes just weeks away) and things are getting off to a flying start at Ancient Wisdom.
We have three big welcomes for you..
Welcome Buddha at AW.
I'm in the UK right now and it's all happening. a new Indonesian container came with amongst other things huge Buddha's. We put one outside our warehouse to welcome visitors and it looks amazing. I have ordered a big sign to go with it which should go up next week that says "Welcome to Ancient Wisdom".
They are made with resin, gypsum and cement, like stone they will weather nicely but they are not so heavy you cannot manoeuvre them. Best of all they are rather calming and zen-like, as well as surprisingly good value, check them out and feel the calmness.
Even better.. they are on our Drop-shipping website at the same price (plus shipping) so no need to stock them - just ship them direct to your to your customers.
Welcome Gold Reward Amnesty. Finishes Monday at Midnight.
So this is to welcome our customers (this is you!) to the new year. A Gold Reward Amnesty.. maximises discounts and stuff (read more here - or see below)..
What's more to welcome you to our website, we finally introduced one of those new-fangled "online chat" widgets. It's wonderful, now we can chat and answer questions in real time with all our customers. You can see it at the bottom right of the page. Looks like this..
Out of hours you can use it to leave a message, which we will deal with first thing. I think we are the first UK gift wholesaler to offer this service..
So don't be shy, need to know something, Just Ask..
Finally we have a brand new range of candle holders, made by a Indonesian family. What's better than romantic candle holders for Valentines Day?
Marry these these up with our Church Candles and you have beautiful gifts for Valentines Day.
This couple are passionate about candle holders. Wayan, the chap shown here, is the designer and head man of his village. Also a local hero because his candle holder designs have won some quite big orders with a large French department store (and AW), and he has subcontracted lots of work to practically every family in his village. This picture was taken in the paddy field right outside the small workshop they have built in an old cattle shed. See the candle holders here.
So from Wayan and his wife and all at AW wishing you successful trading for Valentines Day and beyond.
All the very best