Sunday, 21 January 2007


A week spent creating a couple of guides for the new website. The main one, which took the time, is a list of the bulbs (e.g. dipped headlight, rear indicator...) for each of the main models of cars, covering the 39 main makes and 999 variants of models that have been produced in recent years. It uses the very trendy AJAX, you select a make and you get a drop-down of all the models for them, without having to hit another web page.

In many ways the difficulty in getting the guide together was working out what a customer would want to see rather than what the manufacturers supply, charts that really only a garage mechanic could use. Next we'll be expanding it to cover all sorts of parts which should help make our site the best for automotive customers - tell it which model you have and it'll point you at just which accessories you need.

The other one's a size guide for the lingerie section, tells you exactly what small, medium, large, etc. mean. That one's technically a lot easier while shopping for lingerie from our point of view is much more complicated due to the combinations of options, usually size v colour, allowed. Again we shoulder the difficulties to make things for our customers as easy as possible.

Sunday, 14 January 2007

The iPhone

Consumer products don't usually appeal to me (hell, if a mugger stole my mobe they'd probably give it straight back to me along with a hunk of cash to get something decent) but as soon as the iPhone becomes available in the UK I wanna get one.

Better than that, I reckon we ought to start selling the things, even if it means regular visits to the US and filling suitcases. Apple's site doesn't mention accessories but there'll have to be stuff you can plug into it. And how about writing new programs for the thing? That could be very interesting indeed.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Well the time is getting closer for the soft launch of !! Where do the days, hours, weeks and months go? The soft launch is scheduled for the end of January 2007 -The website is an exciting development and has been specifically designed and built to meet the needs of our customers. No off the shelf web sites here.. thank you very much. This is all due to one of the best Web Developer and programmer I have ever worked with - Thank you Factor X.

SimplyAllstuff is a retail website selling an extensive range of products from Automotive Car Accessories (look out Halfords), Solid Wood and Teak Garden Furniture, Garden Games and Trampolines, Garden tools and power tools, Wine Racks and Wine Accessories..... A range of wines and Champagne will also be available shortly and there are many other product areas that will be launched on the site in February... So it is well worth a look.

The trials and tribulations still continue - simplyallstuff started as an idea between myself and my now business partner. We thought what is the difference between Internet retailers and High Street retailers.... The answers were fairly easy to find... High Street more expensive, Not convienient, some difficult to get to they only stock products that give them the most margin.... well I don't want to bore you with the reasons there are loads..

We then thought what are the benefits of retailers over internet and we came up with a few but the one we thought was a crutial difference was the ability for customers to ask a person a question and get answers face to face... Well we thought we could do one better. We have setup an email system where one of the Product Specialists will answer an email question of a Skype message within an hour. Our average reply time is 15 minutes.... Information at hand at the click of a mouse.... and even better the service is available until midnight 365 days a year... While the shops are shut are happily answering customers questions and providing honest and helpful advice .

Well that enough for now..... Keep watching this space for discount vouchers for and updates on what is happening

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Humble beginnings

This is a blog to record the blood, sweat, tears, laughter and hardships involved in setting up a UK internet based retail business.

The stage we're at right now is we have a highly successful e-bay shop that's been trading for 8 months and the whole thing is about to take a giant leap forwards with establishing our own website. Unfortunately there aren't enough hours in the day - as well as preparing the site, the product range has to be massively revamped, existing business has to be administered, the e-bay side of the business is being moved to going through an intermediary and the main consignor has just been switched.

On the plus side we're recognised as one of UK e-bay's major shops, a significant retailer in our main area, car accessories and our infrastructure is comfortably in place.