Keeping eCommerce Real

I have an aversion toward modern clichés like "keep it real", but in a world of avatars, nanos, virtuals, digital manipulation, etc. this heretofore fatuous remark, needs some new respect.

"Keep It Real" monkey stencil by Banksy

"Keep It Real" monkey stencil
by British street artist, BANKSY

photo: banksy.co.uk

In my line of work, what could be more basic, old-school, "real" if you will, than a hat? Why bother making distinctions about what's real and what's not? Well, it's not so simple if the hat seller is online. Here's why: Instead of the indispensable focus on styling, workmanship and materials, fit, functionality, trimmings and other details of the trade, hatters today can easily get bogged down in online marketing and e-commerce competition, improving operations, software, hardware, IT upgrades, logistics of shipping, receiving, distribution, etc. Don't get me wrong, all these activities - peripheral to the hat itself – are important for an online retail business to succeed. But, all these other things are for naught if the headwear delivered at the end of this complicated chain of activity is not a good product. Furthermore, there may be other online sellers out there who can do some of this other stuff better than us (there are plenty of e-commerce generalists selling hats online, as well as every other product), but compared to us, many of these others are not, and will never be, "for real".

2010 is our 30th year in the hat business (and we've just completed our 14th holiday season online). We know that keeping our eye on the ball – uh, I mean the hat – is what it is all about. So, as the year develops, stay tuned for lots of new products. We will continue to add hats that are well made and are good values. New and interesting additions to our catalog are arriving regularly. We have 2010 visits planned to hat factories all over the world and will hold the manufacturers "feet to the fire" to get our products made right.

Please continue to help us with this process by writing Customer Reviews at the page where your product was purchased. Not only is this feedback very useful for other people considering a purchase, but it informs us about which headwear needs improvements (or elimination from our offerings) and why.

Thanks for your support over these past three decades. We are the same people with the same fundamental values who opened the first Village Hat Shop on May 2, 1980. We will continue to provide the good service and good hats that our customers rightly expect and deserve.

Thank you for your patronage and best wishes for 2010,

Fred Belinsky
www.VillageHatShop.com

About the author

Fred Belinsky Fred Belinsky is the president and founder of Village Hat Shop. You can find him on . Since 1980, Fred has traveled the world in search of headwear that delivers superior value to his customers. When VillageHatShop.com launched in 1997, it became the first website to allow shoppers the opportunity to buy hats online. Berets.com soon followed. In the 1970's, Fred was an educator in his home state of Michigan.

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