We recently received this email from a customer in Houston, TX: “I want to order planner refills from you directly as I did last year. How do I do it? I am not interested in interfacing with a retailer. All I want to do, is to do business. You have a confusing web site.”
We must be asked by phone and email 5x a week (20x a day throughout the fall) to buy refills or planners directly from Exaclair. People are sure they ordered directly from us last year.
But we have never sold directly to consumers. We try to refer consumers to either a retailer close to them; or a retailer we know that carries a lot of stock and can fill a phone order right away.
We made the decision to stay out of direct sales so we don’t compete with our retail customers. We’re aware it would be slightly more convenient for consumers to order directly from us; and we know it is an extra step to connect to a retailer. However, it takes less than 10 seconds to do so, and online visitors are seamlessly connected directly to the planner they are looking to purchase by clicking on a retailer name. Later this month, I will also add a Buy Now button to each product page for Refills Only to make that transaction easier and faster.
Retailers who sell our planners online, in their store, or take phone orders can be found on the “Buy” page our website.
Where we do work directly with consumers is when we get requests for help–lost or destroyed planners, authors that need a datebook from several years ago to plot out a book; and so on. Where we can help out we do – but that’s different than sales.
Your input is welcome. Please let me know your thoughts and feelings on this issue.