Home > NewsRelease > #137 Boyds Magical Retail
#137 Boyds Magical Retail
Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Philadelphia, PA
Monday, October 4, 2021




#137 Blog Post - Wednesday, October 6, 2021


Posted by Denny Hatch


BOYDS: A Magical Retail Experience!
Can You Replicate It Online? Yes!



Shopping for clotheshas always bored the hell out of me.


All my working life Ihad a business wardrobe that served me well for sales calls, meetings andconventions. When I went freelance and started working from home, I did not usethese duds very much, but I was always dressed appropriately.


Over the past six yearsI dropped 30 pounds through a combination of yoga, sane diet and some exercise.My waist went from 40” to 35” and my collar size shrunk a full inch. My former upmarketwardrobe became more and more ill-fitting. Dress shirts with a 17” collarbillowed out in all directions. Jackets drooped off my shoulders and all mytrousers—like on Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp—were saggy-baggy.


Peggy was fed up withhow I appeared and urged me to get a few nice clothes—a blue blazer for winterand a sports jacket for summer… plus a couple of pairs of trousers that fit..and maybe a few dress shirts.


For years my store of choicein Philly has been BOYDS on Chestnut Street. There was never a wait. The selection wasvast. The sales personnel and tailors were world class. They  got me in and outquickly. In 2018 The New York TimesSteven Kurutz did a long feature story onBOYDS, TheLast Great Clothing Store.


Last week Peggy and I wentto BOYDS. I had forgotten what it was like to be coddled quickly by consummateprofessionals in a world-class retail store.



The palatial main floorhad been redesigned to attract and serve Philadelphia’s upmarket women. Men’swear was two flights up the wide marble staircase. We were immediately greetedby Joe Marcella, an elegantly attired and affable young man—masked for thePandemic of course—as were we. We told him why we were there. He nodded andasked us to follow him to the elevator, which we took up to the next floor.


In one of several smallsales solons, Joe handed us an ice-cold bottle of water (it was beastly hot outside).Peggy sat down in one of the comfortable chairs. Joe eyed me up and down,walked across the room and plucked a blue jacket from a rack and helped me on withit. Sleeves a bit too long and a tad tight in the middle. Otherwise, a perfectfit. 


Joe excused himself andducked into an adjoining room and returned with two pair of trousers—dark grayand khaki.


NOTE: Joe did notmeasure me. He simply looked me over and knew instantly what would be right.Later, when we talked about a shirt, he used a tape measure to verify the circumferenceof my shrunk 16” neck.


I went into the largeprivate dressing room and donned the trousers. When I returned, Sergio, one ofBOYDS’ 40 tailors (also masked) was waiting for me. In no time he had made afew chalk marks on the jacket and sleeves. “I have arms of slightly differentlength,” I said. “I know,” Sergio said simply.


We had a brief discussionabout the length of the trousers. “My legs are different lengths.,” I muttered.“I know,” Sergio said.


“For the shirt cuffs,”Joe asked me, “buttons or cufflinks.”


“Cufflinks,” saidPeggy.


“Buttons,” I said. “Ikeep losing cufflinks.”


While Sergio was chalkingand pinning, Joe stepped out of the room and returned with a light blue no-irondress shirt from which he removed myriad pins and cardboard backing andunbuttoned it. I tried it on, and it was a perfect fit.


After donning my streetclothes, Joe led us to the cashier. “Denny needs this by September 9th,”Peggy said to Joe. “He’s giving a speech in Connecticut.”


“No problem,” said Joe.“It’ll be ready on the eighth in the morning. I’m in. If you’re not here bynoon, I’ll give you call to remind you.”


Peggy gave them ourcredit and signed the chit. Three minutes later we were out Chestnut Street.


Elapsed time: 41 minutes.


I Loved it!


On September 8th,we returned to Boyd’s to pick up my new wardrobe. Joe and Sergio met us. Quick try-onof jackets and trousers. Everything fit fine. Joe hung each jacket and trouserson a fat plastic suit hanger and presented them to us in two elegant, heavy-dutytraveling wardrobe bags. Not chintzy, temporary plastic. These things will lastfor years!


I loved the entireexperience!


Adviceto Direct Marketers
Study Amazon and Steal Smart!

Let’s start with this premise:You are a seasoned direct marketer. Youknow how to approach customers and prospects with offers and persuade them toorder.


Because you are online,your buyers have not gone through the hassles of lost time and travel to your store.


Instead, they haveinvited you into the privacy of their homes or offices where you can whisperyour message directly into their ears—with no distractions. Right away you areone up on bricks-‘n’-mortar retail emporiums from the corner newsstand on up toHome Depot and Tiffany & Co.


WhyDoes the Online Shopping Experience Go Sour?
The Place to Look is Abandoned Shopping Carts Stats!
InMarch 2020, 88.05 percent of all online shopping orders were abandoned, (i.e.not converted into a purchase).”  

Imagine the mayhem if 88.05% of all supermarket customers abandoned their chock-a-blockfull shopping carts in the aisles and went home!


Why Do Online Buyers BailOut? Here are 10 Reasons.

1. Annoyed atComplicated Checkout Process
(DH Solution: Considerusing secret shoppers—not friends and family but strangers with no connectionto marketing or to your business. Send them your mailing or ad and have themorder. If they get frustrated, have them tell you where, when and why they gotbogged down).

2. High Shipping Costs or Slow Shipping
(DH Solution: Many marketers offer FREE SHIPPING! It can be one of your 
UniqueSelling Propositions (USP). Sharpen your pencil, study your costs. Testpricing.)
3. Shipping Costs Listed Late

(DH Solution: Don’t promise a low, lowprice up front in the offer and then wallop them with an outrageously high shipping cost at the end.You immediately look sleazy.)

4. Forced to Register and Create an Account
(DH Solution: Make it easy to order. Don’tmake extra work for the customer when there is no need for it. I never agree tocreate an account at the outset; I’m not ready to become a regular customer.) Here's how Peter Christian—UK menswear catalog—handles it:


5. Lack of Payment Options
(DH Solution
: Make it easy to pay—whateveris most convenient for the buyer. For example, some merchants refuse to takeAmerican Express payments because of high fees. Bite the bullet, Baby. You wanta happy customer, not a happy in-house bean counter.)  

6. Unsure of Security Features
(DH Solution: Reassure the customerhis name will never be revealed or sold to others who could bombard him with offers.) Here's how Peter Christian—menswear catalog UK—handles it:

7. Coupon Codes and Promotional Offers
(DH Solution: These things drive me nuts. Remember Jay Leno’s six-word businessmodel: “Write joke. Tell joke. Get check.” Remember the KISS formula: “Keep ItSimple, Stupid.”)

8. Lack of Product Information
(DH Solution: No excuse for this. Yourpromotional copy should leave nothing to chance. For example, do you includesize and weight? Check out the Bradford Exchange website or Parade magazonefor the Thomas Kinkade Christmas Tchotchkes.. Exact heights of the tabletopChristmas trees and limited edition sculptures are always included.)

9. High Cost of Product
(DH Solution: Offer low monthly interest-freepayments. Make it easy on the wallet.)

10. Wantto Look Around
(DH Solution
: Alas, your prospect feels a twinge of insecurity and discomfort. It’susually not smart to mention the competition by name. If a multi-buyer, the customer knows you an trusts you. My suggestion: in one hour, send a low key, warm reminder that you are holding the shopping cart intact. Maybe sat something like:
"If I don't hear back from you by tomorrow this time, I'll assume I can release your merchandise. Meanwhile if you have any questions, I'm Candice Smith at your service. Ask for me. Thank you.")
Sitepoint: 10 Reasons for Abandoned Shopping Carts

Amazon: The World’s 5thLargest Corporation
With a Market Cap of $1.679Trillion Dollars!

Imagine  whereAmazon be today if it lost 88.05% of all its orders?

Deader than Kelsey’s nuts!


Do business with Amazon and you’re in a system ofeasy peasy ordering... dazzling delivery (damn near instant gratification)... and magicalcustomer communications on the status of your order.  


And let’s not forget how easy it is to returnmerchandise to Amazon versus schlepping down to a retailer with merchandise underyour arm and spending time explaining the problem to an irritated clerk.


The Single ThingThat Catapulted Amazon
Into the Stratosphere:One-click Ordering!

“September12, 2017, marked the end of an era as the patent expired for Amazon’s “1-Click” buttonfor ordering. The idea that consumers could enter in their billing, shippingand payment information just once and then simply click a button to buysomething going forward was unheard of when Amazon secured the patent in 1999,and it represented a breakthrough for the idea of hassle-free online shopping.”
Why Amazon’s ‘1-Click” OrderigWas a Game Changer”

Wharton/Universityof Pennsylvania


As chronicler of direct marketing, I was rivetedby the announcement awarding Patent No. 5,960,411 to Amazon.com on September 28, 1999. Amazonimmediatey filed a patentinfringement lawsuit against the mega Barnes & Noble bookstore chain, effectivelyknocking its holiday promotion plans for that year’s holiday season into acocked hat; B&N came within a whisker of going out of business.


Takeaways to Consider

• “Make it easy to order.” —Elsworth Howell


• If you want to satisfy repeat customers, offer 1-Click ordering. It's subtle compliment that says: "Thank you. It's nice have you with me."


• Always include testimonials from happy customers. These are the equivalent of an enthusiastic extra sales person working for you."


• Always include a Guarantee of satisfaction and delight signed bythe president of the company. For example, here is the greatest guarantee inthe history of direct marketing. In 2020, L.L. Bean had gross sales of $1.59 billion.Go thou and do likewise!



Above all, study Amazon and STEAL SMART. Dive into the weeds of theirfulfillment. Order from Amazon. See how they fulfill. Especially check out Amazon's emails updating when you can expect delivery.


One Example: take toilet paper. For years I have had a pathological fearof running out of toilet paper—not only for ourselves but also for houseguests. I now can go to Amazon and click on thefollowing:


Iclick on the above, type in “toilet paper.” Here’s what comes up for aone-click order that enables me to spend half a minute satisfying my psychoticinsecurity:



•Amazin’ Amazon!


•I love it!





Wordcount: 1837

You Are Invited to Meet Denny Hatch and
See His
26-minute Geezer-Fast Yoga Routine


At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press.He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business. He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletterand archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 yearshe has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing.


Denny Hatch
The St. James
200 West Washington Square, #3007
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-644-9526 (Rings on my desk) 

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