Retail Opinion: Are web-shops helping or hindering service?

4C. Dragonfly Screenshot 2017-10-26 06.40.32
The new logo that Dragonfly introduced in September.

Rachael Barnes, co-owner of Dragonfly Cards & Gifts in Knaresborough has clocked the changing shape of card publishers’ sales forces, with fewer agents and a spate of changing distribution arrangements recently. She shares how she feels publishers are shaping up on the service front and what would be on her wish-list for improvements.

Rachael Barnes (centre), co-owner of Dragonfly with UKG’s commercial director Jayne Myers and Darren Cave, its director of field sales at a recent UKG customer retail forum that Rachael was invited to attend.
Rachael Barnes (centre), co-owner of Dragonfly with UKG’s commercial director Jayne Myers and Darren Cave, its director of field sales at a recent UKG customer retail forum that Rachael was invited to attend.

How would you rank service from greeting card suppliers?

“I’d say that the service we receive from card publishers has improved over recent years, mainly due to the development of web-shops. As much as we love to see our reps and agents, it is so useful to be able to look at new product between visits or do a top up order at midnight in my pyjamas!”

Dragonfly applauded the Just a Card campaign on its Facebook page, giving the thumbs up to this illustration by card publisher Angela Chick.
Dragonfly applauded the Just a Card campaign on its Facebook page, giving the thumbs up to this illustration by card publisher Angela Chick.

How do you feel about the changing shape of publishers’ salesforces?

“There has most definitely been a lot of change recently with regard to sales forces, so much so that I was beginning to dread opening a letter or answering the phone!

We have very mixed feelings on this – on one side we are really sad to say goodbye to some reps that have been calling on us for years and have become good friends, but on a more positive note, the web-shop reduces the number of reps that we have to see, so it is more time efficient, and it will allow us to reach minimum orders more frequently in the instances where companies can be combined to make one single order.”

‘Christmas roll wrap and gift bags are now in store. No need for 3 for 2's as our prices are so good without gimmicks’ reads the post on Dragonfly’s Facebook page.
‘Christmas roll wrap and gift bags are now in store. No need for 3 for 2’s as our prices are so good without gimmicks’ reads the post on Dragonfly’s Facebook page.

What is on your wishlist for how publishers could improve their service to you?

“I love how so many agents and reps have become good friends over the years – it makes for a much nicer way to do business. My wish-list for improvements would be for all companies to offer web-shop facilities (as long as the reps are paid for the sales accordingly), reorder tickets to be issued as standard by all companies, and agents would stop trying to bombard you with too many different card publishers’ product – if we’re interested we’ll let you know!”

MORE NEWS
 
Publishing stalwarts battle it out on the tennis court for almost 5 hrs...
 
Real attraction were happy waggy tails at Paperchase’s media launch...
 
UK’s largest card chain has opened 38 new stores since February...
 
PG Buzz caught up with Cathy Frost, owner of Loveone in Ipswich on how she is gearing up for Christmas....
 
Greeting card publisher Lucy Ledger heads up a course on creativity at the V&A...
 
Publisher that invented giftwrap looks to mark its first century...
Get the latest news sent to your inbox
Subscribe to our daily newsletter