Monday, January 14, 2008

The Ideal It'll Fit'll Web Site

Evan and his smiling dog, Milo.
I mention Milo in today's post. Milo has never met a stranger.

When first launched it seemed so exotic, to me at least, to order books - or anything, for that matter- on the computer. I remember when my sister-in-law (and great friend!) Anne Marie casually mentioned at some long-ago get-together that she planned to buy a particular book on amazon. I thought she was so sophisticated, so urbane, so clever, so so so much more everything than I.

That was in the mid-1990’s. Times certainly have changed. Yes, these dozen or so years later Anne Marie is still much more almost everything than I, but she’s no longer electronically/commercially progressive. That’s because ecommerce is no longer novel. It’s ubiquitous. I consider myself relatively computer savvy and quite the ecommerce consumer (the UPS guy waves to me in recognition whenever we’re on the road at the same time - though I'm sure that has more to do with his affection for our sweet dog, Milo (or, as Susie's Noah calls him: My-O) than any traits or purchasing habits of the humans in the house.) Anyway, my e-consumption notwithstanding, I am still a bit dazed at the notion that in a very short time I will be the proprietress of an e-tail establishment, an on-line store.

Developing the requirements for the site has been a fun exercise. When the site is finally launched, I will enjoy comparing the initial list of expectations with the reality of the functioning site. And, I’ll look forward to the changes that occur over time – as the business and the site evolve.

We’ll have the ordinary stuff– photos of the clothing, zoom functionality, comprehensive descriptions, shopping cart functionality, order confirmation, shipping notification, etc. But, the site will also have some aspects that are out of the ordinary and are driven by our business practices and special programs. Here’s a description of some of those. Please, please feel free offer your ideas and suggestions. We fully expect the site to be dynamic, based on your feedback.

- A Comprehensive Sizing Section. Of course we'll explain, in words and pictures, the sizing system and how to determine which size clothes to buy.

- A Photo Gallery - of "It'll Fit'll Kiddos". We've gotten pictures of some adorable, beautiful children and we hope that you will send photos of your loved ones, in It'll Fit'll wear, that we can post on the site. The gallery won't be limited to pictures of "little It'll Fit'll kiddos"; since we'll have adult clothing (eventually) we'll hope for pictures of adults too. In my view, we're all our parents' kiddos - no matter how old we are.

- A point in the ordering process when you will (if you choose) tell us for whom you're buying the clothes and give us that person's age and birth date. It'll Fit'll will have a Birthday Club program. We'll send a birthday gift to each person for whom It'll Fit'll clothing has been purchased. That's why we need to know that name, age and birth date information.

- A point in the ordering process at which you define the 501(c)(3) organization to which you would like the 5% of your purchase donated. I've written before about the fact that It'll Fit'll will donate a portion of our proceeds to Down syndrome support organizations. We now plan to donate 5% of revenues (as opposed to profits) to whatever Down syndrome support organization you tell us to (as long as it's a registered 501(c)(3). So, at some point in the ordering process you will need to indicate to which group you'd like a donation made, in your name.

- A list of DS support groups from which you can choose to make the donation discussed above. We'll rely on you and those groups to provide the names, backgrounds, details of the organizations. So, if you don't have any group in mind you can choose one from this resource. If you make no choice, we'll also have a group of default organizations - one in each geographical region of the U.S. - to which we'll credit, on a rotatational basis, such donations.

- A section describing the "Hand Me Downs" program and process. This section can come after launch, if necessary. That's because this program will allow you to send back It'll Fit'll clothes that still have life/wear left in them for a credit. We'll issue you a credit and donate those clothes to people in need. So, in theory, we've got some breathing room on the timing of this requirement since it will take some time for people to outgrow the first of their It'll Fit'll clothes.

- A Feedback/Comments section for each apparel item. This will allow everyone to share information and observations about their particular experience with that item. I think shared perspective is a great help in choosing what to buy.

That will have to be the end of the list for today. I'm working at Susie's house this afternoon. She's out running errands and I'm keeping an eye on the kids. Actually, though, I can barely see a thing at the moment because Grace and Noah have built a "tree house" of couch cushions and blankets all around me and Grace is obstructing my view by bouncing on my lap....

So, for now that's our current vision of an ideal web site. Once we launch - and with your help - we hope to make it your ideal as well.

P.S. The time stamp says that this was posted at 11-something pm on Monday. But, it was really posted Tuesday, at lunch time. I started the entry late last night, so that's when the system stamped it. Just FYI..

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you had such a turbulent year, wishing you all the best and every success in 2008. The Web Site sounds wonderful. Will you accept orders from Europe? Will be expensive after the import duty is paid on delivery but commercial clothes don't have a long enough body to fit my 10-year-old and getting things altered is not cheap either where we are.