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How Online Shopping Can Lead To A Better Dressed Horse – And, Of Course, Rider!

Updated on July 25, 2013
i've tried Primark, Debenhams, House Of Fraser and M&S - Still No Joy Getting One Of These Coats!
i've tried Primark, Debenhams, House Of Fraser and M&S - Still No Joy Getting One Of These Coats!

I'm writing About Horses But Still Manage To Get Cars Into The Conversation!

I have often waxed lyrical about how online shopping, e-commerce and well thought out and expertly built websites can seriously enhance the buying experience for a wide range of products.

I have also been fairly up front about some of the things I think do not work online quite as well as they might, due mainly to limitations in the way in which products are presented and selected.

It’s as much about the process as it is about the goods themselves. The process I use to choose and then buy a car involves test driving the vehicle before I actually sign anything. You can’t test drive a car online, you actually have to see it, touch it, listen to it, drive it and decide whether you like it enough to buy it.

From Cars To, Well, Horses Actually

Which brings me, strangely enough, to the subject of horses. If I wanted a horse, which I don’t because I fell off one once and seriously injured my pride; I would go to a horse showroom and insist on a test ride. If I didn’t do that I would certainly end up with a nag that wasn't firing on all cylinders and was in serious need of a visit by the vet.

The same is not true, however, if I was looking for things for my horse to wear, or for me to wear when I was driving, sorry riding, my horse. This is the time when the good old Internet can serve me very well indeed.

The point is that there are very few places where you can go and see a wide range of equestrian clothing and accessories all in one place. I’m sure there are a few around but most people probably don’t live that near to one.

So, as someone who takes an interest in businesses that work well online and who considers it to be a challenge when one doesn't, I set off in search of a top quality online retailer of equestrian goods and was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

There are a number of well-known designers on the high street that do not cater for horses or their keepers. There is not, as far as I can ascertain, a range of Gok Wan riding jackets and Vivian Westwood seems to have omitted breeches and riding boots from her range this year.

There are, however, several brands which are just as iconic in the equestrian world and these include Petrie, Passier, Schwenkel, Anky, Pikeur, Fleck, Veredus, Dimacci, and Sprenger.

As you've probably guessed by now, I've found an online equestrian retailer that offers all of these iconic brands under one totally digital roof. I've provided a link for you down below and a visit would be well worth your while, if you've got a horse, that is.

Reasons To Not Buy Something, Online, part 1, (of 1)

One of the downfalls of online shopping is that you often can’t speak to anyone about the product. The descriptions are often brief to say the least, the photographs inadequate and there is no option to call and get further information. Result, no sale.

My recent discovery, the online equestrian store that has (almost) everything including some very tasty clobber for the horse as well, not just the rider, does not fall into this category.

There is a telephone information service manned during sensible hours and an email newsletter option as well – I like those because I can subscribe to them and then moan about how many emails I’m receiving before I ceremoniously delete the ones I don’t want.

Newsletters about horse clothes however I would now keep, if I had a horse, of course whereas emails containing the phrase Anky store would previously most certainly have gone to digital hell..

To Buy Or Not To Buy, That Is The Question.

The acid test of an online store is, in my opinion, the checkout test. If I put together a basket full of things that I would love to buy and then pressed the checkout button would I actually key in my credit card details, give my address and my telephone number and then confirm the whole lot by clicking the relevant button. The point of no return.

As any online marketer like me knows, the vast majority of online purchases are terminated before the final button is clicked and the money get taken from the buyers account. There are many theories as to why this is but mine is, I think, the right one.

It’s all about confidence and it takes us back to my first point. Does the sales process actually need some kind of tactile confirmation? Am I sure it’s right for me? Is the colour right? Am I really that size or am I kidding myself? And then, there’s the really big one – do I trust this website with my personal and financial details. Do I have confidence in the site owners to play the game and send me my stuff and, if it turns out wrong, to refund me without a major drama?

In many cases, upon final reflection, many people do decide not to go the final furlong and place the order.

All of that made me especially pleased when my recently discovered horsey emporium had comprehensive and totally authentic returns and refund policies and the payment process was secure and looked and felt comfortable and trustworthy.

It’s a bit like riding a bike, sorry horse really, get it right and its great fun, get it wrong and it can be painful. These guys have got it right so saddle up and gallop on down there to take a look. That’s a terrible pun I know but I couldn't resist it and it’s staying in, for now at least.

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