Important COVID-19 Update

We're still open for business! Click the button below for some need-to-know bits and pieces regarding changes you'll experience while shopping on Hello Pretty during this peculiar time. Short version: shipping's going to take longer than normal.

See our COVID-19 status

Design

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall…

I do sometimes wonder what people did without mirrors long ago. These days we have mirrors everywhere in our homes; from the bedroom to the bathroom and even in the hallway or lounge. They are very handy but also look very pretty in the home.

I love how designers have come up with beautiful designs and ideas for mirrors, they are functional but make great décor pieces too. If you have read my post about clocks on the Hello Pretty blog, you’ll know that I love pieces that have many functions.

There are some beautiful mirrors available on Hello Pretty, that I know will look amazing somewhere in your home. The Hermes inspired leather mirror from Bibi’s Antiques is something very special and unique. If you like something different, go for this one.
This silver round mirror from Exclusive Mirrors will definitely bring a little glamour into your home. I love their abstract mirror as well, this will look good in any hallway.

The antique framed mirrors from Antiques Alive are full of character and will make any space look larger. The details on this copper mirror from Jeli are amazing, I love the rustic feel it gives. 

Image One: Hermes inspired mirror
Image Two: Silver round mirror
Image Three: Abstract mirror
Image Four: Antique framed mirror
Image Five: Copper mirror

Superfront- Making The Ordinary, Extraordinary.

If you have ever been in an Ikea, you’ll know how wonderful it is to get lost in there. Wouldn’t it be great to get that piece of furniture you wanted and to jazz it up a bit? Superfront has you covered!

The Swedish company designs and manufactures a range of products that fit Ikea’s common cabinets. This includes; legs, handles, fronts, tops and sides. They make their products from materials like marble, leather, copper, brass and birch.

Superfront has a great colour palette from which you can choose your new front. They also have really cool colour names like Lime Pie Yellow and Grannie Pink, so what’s not to like?

Their products, which can be used throughout the house, are really beautiful. Superfront gives you the opportunity to create your own unique furniture and brings out the designer in you. 

Source & Images: Superfront

The PPC Imaginarium Awards 2016

When I think of concrete, I think of building sites and dirt. The PPC Imaginarium competition has however brought new light to the beautiful possibilies concrete offers, through their design awards programme. By showcasing different pieces made from concrete from many designers, it's clear just how much can be done with this material.

This programme is focused on encouraging talented designers in South Africa, and a better challenge cannot be thought of. There are six creative categories which the judges look at; Industrial Design, Jewellery, Film, Sculpture, Architecture and Fashion.

The winners of the awards were announced at the PPC Imaginarium finalist exhibition at Youngblood Africa, Cape Town, last week Thursday (4 February). The winner of each category received R50 000 and the runner-up received R15 000. Have a look at their website or their Facebook page.

The pieces are simply amazing; who knew you could make such cool things with concrete?

The artworks featured are by: 

First photo: Mieke Vermeulen 
Second photo: Hester Erasmus 
Third photo: Janna Kruger 
Fourth photo: Nkhensani Rihlampfu
Fifth photo: Gordon Froud 

A Hello Pretty wedding!

A Hello Pretty wedding!

We love it when happy customers send us photos of their beautiful new products, and we especially love it when the  new goodies were for their wedding!

One such happy customer was Vicky, who ordered bridal hangers from Darling & Good!

A Hello Pretty wedding!
A Hello Pretty wedding!
A Hello Pretty wedding!

There was a good amount of cooing at HP HQ when these photos arrived - it always feels amazing that both Hello Pretty and our sellers can help make a bride's big day extra special. It's definitely a perk of the job!

A Hello Pretty wedding!
A Hello Pretty wedding!

Thank you for sharing your special day with us Vicky!

Win with Hello Pretty and The High Street Barber! - CLOSED

Win with Hello Pretty and The High Street Barber!

We're spreading the love this festive season with another giveaway!

Today we're partenering with The High Street Barber to give away a mega beard box worth R580! Ideal for the bearded guy your life.

This includes :

  • 4 x 10ml Beard Oil - All Scents included - Earthy - Woody - Orange - Spicy
  • 30ml Beard Tonic - Original or Orange
  • 55g Beard Balm - Woodsmoke or Citrus
  • Wooden Comb

To enter:


Clickety click pretties! You have until 10am on Friday the 11th of December.

Win with Hello Pretty and The High Street Barber!

This giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere. Entries close at 10am on Friday 11th of December (this Friday). Hello Pretty's standard competition Ts and Cs apply. Only one entry per channel will be counted.

Win with Hello Pretty and Sugar and Vice! - CLOSED

Win with Hello Pretty and Sugar and Vice!

We're spreading the love this festive season with another giveaway!

Today we're partenering with Sugar and Vice to give away two super cool stationery holders, and two snack bowls - ideal for bringing some quirky uniqueness into your life..

To enter:

  1. Like Sugar and Vice on Facebook
  2. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us how you'd use your new goodies.
  3. Get an extra entry by tweeting "I want to win with  and ! and leave an extra comment below.


Clickety click pretties! You have until 10am on Friday the 4th of December.

Win with Hello Pretty and Sugar and Vice!

This giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere. Entries close at 10am on Friday 4th of December (this Friday). Hello Pretty's standard competition Ts and Cs apply. Only one entry per channel will be counted.

25 ways to avoid the mall this Christmas

We all hate it. And we all do it. Last-minute Christmas shopping! It is the worst, and people are the worst. We are the worst.

But, I'm going to share some sage words from my sister a few weeks ago:

It's  a no-brainer, people. Look no further for your Christmas shopping. There are beautiful things for every taste and budget, right on this website. But don't believe me - go see for yourself.

So yes. Today is Tuesday, which means it's newsletter day! As we mentioned before, subscribing to our newsletter is a good way to stay ontop of sales, giveaways, freebies and special discount codes! Here's a little 40%-er from this week's newsletter:

Today we mostly featured things with a general Christmassey and gifting vibe, and some holiday goodness. I've put up a taster below.

Listed up at the top is my personal favourite from Lovilee :-)

There were literally dozens and dozens more things I wanted to include (but didn't, because gmail chops off content that is too long).

Be sure to sign up, if you haven't already.



Win a Hobby Teardrop Brass Planter with Hello Pretty! - CLOSED

We're getting into the Christmas spirit with a slew of giveaways, and let me tell you, it's downright festive here at HP HQ!

Today we're spoiling you with this amazing Hobby brass planter - ideal for bringing a bit of the summer outdoors into your home.

To enter:
1) Like Hobby on Facebook
2) Leave a comment on this blog post telling us where your new planter would live if you won.
3) Get an extra entry by tweeting @HelloPrettySA with the hashtag #ilovehobby telling us what you would do with your planter, and leave an extra comment below.

Clickety click pretties! You have until 10am on Friday the 20th.

This giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere. Entries close at 10am on Friday 20th of November (this Friday). Hello Pretty's standard competition Ts and Cs apply. Only one entry per channel will be counted.

Hello Pretty at Business of Design, PART TWO: SELLING ONLINE

Hello Pretty at Business of Design, PART TWO: SELLING ONLINE

**And we're back for round two! Hot on the heels of last week's Part One: Trends, we give you Part Two: how to sell your roducts like hotcakes online. Again, it's long and wordy, but a goodie. Settle in and absorb all of the knowledgey goodness!**

Hello Pretty at Business of Design, PART TWO: SELLING ONLINE

So having done your research about what the ecom industry is doing, how do you take that information and become successful? Well, all you need to get going is a bank account, a smart phone and an idea, and be willing to try.

Find partners that you’re comfortable with. By partners I mean platforms and payment gateways, because we are all going to be a big part of your online retail life.

There are loads of options out there that check all the boxes, with various themes and plugins geared towards ecommerce. Much like with shipping partners, it just requires a bit of time and research. However, it’s still possibly less time and research than setting up a brick and mortar store, with much less capital outlay.

Online does have its own costs though, and many people seem to think it should be free. Luckily you can start small, where your only cost is time - but it still needs to be spent. I say it over and over and over – take the time to do it properly. The more you do it the quicker it will become, but it may take time to gain momentum. We often see people that are dismayed that they haven't immediately made millions – don't be disheartened. Offer a great product and a great customer experience, market yourself well, and your business will grow – it's no different to any other business model.

I recently had a conversation with someone who was convinced that the only way to be successful online is to have a brick and mortar store as well. I had to politely disagree, because to my mind the exact opposite is true. You can be successful as an online only store, as can be seen with the likes of Amazon, but with digital marketing developing the way that it is, you now need an online presence to supplement your physical store, not a physical store to supplement your online presence.

You are able to reach so many more people, and can make items to order instead of having to spend money on stock beforehand and risk not selling those items. Your set up and running costs are considerably less because you can work from your kitchen counter, which has an immediate effect on your proft margins. Your online store is beyond borders, and caters to after hours shoppers. You can reach customers 24/7 with a mobile friendly site. Once you have your platform chosen and ready, and your shipping solution on speed dial, it’s a fairly formulaic approach.

Almost all online shopping issues we've had to deal with that isn't tech related have been
about images, shipping and advertising - how many of you have bought something online? And how many of you are put off by bad photos, or a lack of information? It immediately effects your level of trust. How many of you have been put off by having to pay extra for shipping?
 

Hello Pretty at Business of Design, PART TWO: SELLING ONLINE

PRODUCT PHOTOS:

Good product photos are vital, since customers are actually buying photos, not products at this point. They rely on them since they can't see the product in person. When we say “don’t cheap out,” we don’t mean that you have to run out and pay a fortune for a professional photoshoot. But do the best that you can afford, even if it's just from a smartphone.

There are so many great editing apps and tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube on how to easily take great photos that there are very few excuses for poor product images. The example on the slide is from the House of Kallie store page - the photos are all cohesive and play nicely together, making visiting their page easy on the eye, and so a pleasant user experience. You sort of just want to hang out there because it's pretty and nice – which is what you want!

If you can afford professional photography, do it. If not, learn to do it yourself, to the best of your ability. Become your own pro!

I always recommend having a clear, from the front image of the product as the main hero image. Customers need to be able to see what your product is immediately – if they can't they'll just keep scrolling. Have photos from different angles and a close up photo of details. I also usually suggest having photos of the products in use, so customers can get an idea of scale. Again, you don’t need fancy equipment for this - good, clear lighting, staging the product in a way that background doesn’t distract from the item itself. Some simple editing apps to brighten everything up can sort you out in no time.

A recent photo plagiarism scandal swept across Twitter involving someone who used our platform at the time - we’ve always joked that we should get embroiled in some sort of scandal for the publicity - we quickly saw just how much we actually wanted to avoid that when it involved screenshots of a Hello Pretty logo! But it goes to show how important it is to be respectful of your community. You want people to respect your craft, so you should respect other people’s craft - you have to be honest and representative in all your photos and your business as a whole.

Internet users at large, especially on social media, have come to demand transparency and accountability from brands. This unfortunately wasn’t the frst time we’ve had to deal with plagiarism claims, and due to the broadness and reach of the internet, I doubt it will be the last. As with all things, in any business, and excuse my french, just don’t be an asshole.

Product descriptions go hand in hand with photos, but only really require that you give a detailed description of the item - the size, materials, a back story if there is one. Remember that you are in sales - you need to make your product and your brand as appealing as possible!

Hello Pretty at Business of Design, PART TWO: SELLING ONLINE
Hello Pretty at Business of Design, PART TWO: SELLING ONLINE
Hello Pretty at Business of Design, PART TWO: SELLING ONLINE

SHIPPING: - back to this bugbear.

Once you've found a service that suits your business needs, you need to set up a fee
structure for customers.

We've come to fnd that customers HATE paying for shipping - they would rather pay more for an item with free shipping. It's a negative perception that people seem to have - almost as though they feel it’s a hidden expense. I have friends that actually log out entirely when they see a separate shipping charge as they go through the checkout process. We encourage sellers to build their shipping fee (or part of it) into their product price and offer free or cheaper shipping. That way the customer feels that they’re paying a once off, all inclusive fee, as opposed to having to pay for what they feel are hidden add ons. Your offering all of a sudden appears to be of more value to your customer, and can be an effective incentive for them.

Something interesting that we’ve come across is that the product price sweet spot is R250 - R500. Anything less than that can seem as though it’s not worth the effort of going through the whole ordering process and then waiting for delivery and so forth. Anything more than that becomes more of a splurge item - something that needs to be saved for. Our average sale price is between R500 and R600, and this stays the same month on month. We’re defnitely not saying this is the be all and end all of online shopping, but it’s what we’ve seen happen repeatedly over the course of the last three years.

Detailed store policies are also important, but needn't be overly lengthy and involved. Simply stating the manufacturing lead time, shipping lead times, shipping method used, returns policies which are especially important when dealing with clothing items, and a sizing chart if you need it will do the trick. Again, because customers cannot see or handle the items in person, you need to give them as much information as possible to put their minds at ease.

And most importantly,

MARKETING

You have your platform, payment gateways and friendly local courier all set up. You have beautiful product photos and product descriptions and store policies that we will write songs about. Now what?

We put a huge amount of effort into marketing and promoting the site and our designers, but at the end of the day there are over 1500 designers on the site, and we can't monitor everyone at all times. As we're a marketplace and not a traditional online store, the bulk of the marketing must come from the individual designers themselves, but this applies no matter what your business is. As with normal brick and mortar businesses, the people who make the most sales are the ones that actively promote their store and their products. You can’t sit back and rely on customers to simply come rushing in - you need to go out and fetch them. People won’t know to buy from you if they don’t know where to fnd you, or if you even exist.

Leverage social media. To get your brand out there, it's important to post regularly and interact with your followers as much as you can. When you mention a product, link directly to it, instead of just to your store - this leads potential customers straight to the thing that caught their eye. Online consumers tend to have short attention spans - make buying from you easy for them by removing as many barriers to entry as possible.

Social commerce is catching up fast, with various social media platforms continuing to roll out features to facilitate online shopping, like “buy now” buttons or store embeds on Facebook. Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest are all following suit.

Unfortunately we can no longer really escape paid media. We have and continue to experiment in the various social media platform ad offerings, but for someone starting out, we’ve noticed the most effective and cost friendly manner in which to drive sales is still Facebook advertising. We've found it to be the most bang for your buck in South Africa at the moment, because the market isn’t as saturated as abroad just yet. We've seen better results with promoted posts as opposed to normal Facebook adverts, simply because they seem to drive sales in a more direct manner. Again, this is not the be all and end all of paid media and doesn't need to be expensive – we've seen notable results R100 at a time.

Hello Pretty at Business of Design, PART TWO: SELLING ONLINE

**And so you have it! Our Business of Design presentation broken down into two parts for your reading pleasure. Let us know if you use any of our information, have feedback or suggestions, or need an extra hand! Go out and make some moolah!**

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Design