Sampsons goes social
Saturday, 5th November, 2016
By Emily Roberts
In an effort to stay “one step ahead”, Sampsons shoe store have increased their online presence, which is attracting many sales from away.
The long-standing local retailer has a new website which allows for online purchases.
“Staff member Danika Honson has created our new Sampsons website using the Shopify platform,” said part-owner Peter Nash.
“We have had a website for around 10 years but essentially only sold the ‘Surfer Joe’ thong.
“Our host provider was a chap residing on the Sunshine Coast who was retiring and he suggested we go down this path.
“Danika has done a superb job uploading a few hundred styles of the thousands we actually have.
“Keeping the webpage relevant and accurate with stock availability is very time consuming but it was an innovation I thought we had to invest in.
“Visitors tell us we have a wonderful range of shoes and so we are trying to drive traffic to our webpage via marketing campaigns on Facebook.
“Social media is the future, so we aim to grow our ‘likes’ on our Sampsons Facebook and instagram pages, and then by having monthly promotions and uploading new product we hope to grow our business.
“One of our real challenges over the last five years has been selling through our stock each season.
“By that I mean we get a 12 pair pack and sell say eight pairs but how do we sell the remaining four pairs? Sales and markdowns don’t seem to work that well locally even though we have opened up a sale wall in store and have just recently invested $2,000 in new front tables.
“A two-week pop up store in Mildura in January was a disaster! The greener pastures in this case, were weeds.
“The amount of effort to relocate 2,000 pairs of shoes and transport them 300km hiring a truck and then renting a store was definitely a loss-making task I will never do again.”
The website has been proving popular with a number of non-locals heading online to purchase shoes.
“We hope our new sale pages on the webpage will help us move this stock, anywhere in Australia.
“That said our locals can snap up the same deals by shopping in store or online by click and collect.
“And we are back in the BDT each day ensuring our locals, who don’t use smartphones or the internet, stay in touch with what we are selling.”
Peter said they wanted to target a bigger audience as it was a struggle attracting people into Argent Street.
“The reality is that traditional shoe stores are a dying breed. Twenty years ago I would attend Shoe Fairs with retailers from Port Lincoln, Port Augusta and Mt Gambier and they are now all gone.
“It’s the same in Broken Hill with the closure of stores like Nickas, Mezzini, Destiny (which is up for sale), Carasel and Cullen’s impacting on the viability and vibrancy of Argent Street.
“Today many of our suppliers are our online competitors, so at Sampsons we are very much being challenged to stay ‘one step ahead’.
“Sampsons online is about reaching out to provide our service to a wider audience, and its success will help keep Sampsons open in the Hill for decades to come.”