State of the Owl: June 2016
When I created Screaming Owl 3.5 years ago, the most I had hoped for was a little side gig that would help me earn some extra money so that I could stay at home with my kids. What has unfolded since then has been beyond my wildest dreams. Because of loyal customers like you, we have grown into one of the most popular family owned children's boutiques on the Internet. Millions of fans and hundreds of thousands of repeat customers who continue to share us with their family and friends. For your support, we are forever grateful.
We know that our customers are the backbone of our business, so along the way we've listened to your feedback and implemented changes to help us serve you better. Over the years, we have upgraded our website, changed our fulfillment software, moved to a larger warehouse to accommodate more product, hired more staff to reduce our shipping time, and introduced our help desk for customer service inquiries. This year is no different and we have some exciting changes coming your way that will continue to enhance your shopping experience. I'd like to take a moment to share those with you so that you can see how committed we are to making sure your voice is being heard.
1. More Accurate Sizing & Labeling
Beginning next month, we will be introducing a new sizing guide. These sizes will be used by all of our manufacturers to make sure that our items are consistent and true to size. All products will no longer be labeled in letter sizes. They will be labeled in numerical sizes to be the same as what you order online to minimize confusion.
2. Larger Sizes
We know our customer's kids are growing, so we want to grow with you. When our new sizing guidelines are introduced, you will find that we will now be included "tween" sizes.
3. Better Quality
We have had face to face meetings with our manufacturers to develop quality standards. Between stitching, printing, and fabric selection, we are aiming to increase quality across the board so that you can be proud of the product you receive.
4. Customer Service Response Time
We have increased our customer service team by 25% so that we can respond to your inquiries faster, typically the same business day. We will continue to use our Help Desk as we've found it's the most accurate and efficient form of communication between parties.
5. Opportunities For Exchanges
We have begun to order an excess of product to accommodate requests for sizing changes. We know online shopping can be hard and we don't want you to feel "stuck" with your purchase should it not fit. As long as we have extras in stock of the size that you need, we'll be happy to process an exchange. Simply open a help ticket for instructions.
6. More In Stock Items
As a result of ordering extra items, we will be in a position where we are left with excess product. We will be offering these items every week in our "Flash Sale Friday" promotion. Each Friday, we will list in stock and ready to ship items that will process in 2-3 business days.
7. Exclusive Designs
We know there are many competitors out there who offer many items that we do. We are not your average boutique and we don't want our items to be average either. We have recently begun designing our own products that we are very proud of. You can enjoy knowing you're little lady will be wearing items that not many other people have. You know she's one in a million, now her outfit will be too!
8. More Items For Boys
We get this request all of the time! As a mom of 2 boys, I completely understand. While we are predominantly a boutique for girls, we will be adding more options for boys, especially sibling sets and holiday items.
9. New Women's Brand
Our unique methods that bring you extreme savings are now not just for your little girls. We have been in development of a women's brand that will mirror Screaming Owl, allowing you to spoil yourself without breaking the bank. We expect to launch in Summer 2016, so stay tuned!
We're very excited about all of the new happenings over the next few weeks and hope you are too. That said, we know that there are other aspects of our business that you'd like to see changed, but because of who we are, some changes are simply not possible. It doesn't mean we're not listening, it just means to keep our prices as low as possible, some things needs to stay the same.
1. Shipping Times
Our number one request from customers is to reduce our shipping times. Believe you me, there's nothing I'd like more, but it's just not possible as it's not the type of company we are. The heart of our business lies in our preorder model. Teaming up with one another to gain group sales and placing bulk orders is how we're able to offer our prices as low as they are. We do not carry inventory, these items have to be made to order just for you, and realistically, that just takes time. We've cut it down just as much as we possibly can. We realize it's difficult to wait and for some people, it's not worth it. But for those with patience and who note our shipping times for sizing, we can guarantee you that you will be rewarded with some of the lowest prices out there on these types of items.
2. One Item Per Order
Another huge way we reduce our costs is by processing our items for shipment in batches by like type. That means instead of looking at a printout of who ordered what and processing each order individually, we instead look at a printout of what item type sold and process those orders together. Without this method, our staffing needs would increase dramatically, and those costs would have to be added into our products. Shipping items out individually means that you can enjoy rock bottom pricing.
3. No Frills Packaging
Another cost saver is keeping our packaging as cost effective as possible. We do not have fancy packaging and our items arrive to you in a simple poly bag. If you order from places that spice this up, you're certainly paying for it somewhere along the line. We know it's fun to receive pretty packages, but again, we want our prices to stay as low as possible for you.
4. Help Desk For Customer Service
Many times, we're asked why we do not have a phone number for customer service. We are certainly not offering phone support to be difficult. We're riding the wave of online shopping and using our Help Desk to efficiently take care of our customers in a manner in which phone support simply does not do. Many online businesses these days are moving towards online only support for many reasons. First off, it's convenient. You can contact us any time, 24/7. You don't have to wait for a call center to open. Secondly, it eliminates confusion. When things are in writing, it eliminates any "he said/she said" scenarios. Every piece of communication is right there for all parties to view at any time. Third, it allows multiple team members to assist a customer. If assistance is needed from a different department, a help ticket can easily be accessed by anyone on our team quickly. Next, it's trackable. Every aspect of our system, from ticket submission to comment updates is date and time stamped. All tickets are available to be accessed at any time on our website. Finally, it's affordable. Opening a call center means more money. That would inevitably result in increased pricing. Again, we want to keep our prices at rock bottom for you.
If you've taken the time to read all of this, I want to say a HUGE thanks because I know it was a lot to take in. Our commitment to our customers is our top priority it's exciting to share our growth with you, especially when it's based on your feedback. Please remember we always accept feedback, so if you have an opinion to share or if you would simply like to send us a photo of your little one rocking one of our items, we'd love to hear from you. Simply click on contact at the top of any page on our website to get in touch!
From our family to yours, thank you for your continued support of Screaming Owl.