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"Wargaming and the web" Topic


12 Posts

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501 hits since 4 Apr 2012
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Sir Samuel Vimes04 Apr 2012 6:58 p.m. PST

I've noticed a bit of a speed bump in growing our greying hobby. There are many helpful blogs and Forums (Fora for the Latin purists)and such are a great help to web savvy younger audiences. These are grand for generating interest and sharing information. The problem, as I see it, is that when it comes to shopping for non Fantasy or "Grim and Dark" future products, the websites of manufacturers often shoot their potential business in the foot. Many sites have no pictures, no shopping cart, and in some cases are OLDER than the kids whose attention they could be grabbing with fine their wargaming products.

While it is always popular to sneer and take pot shots at Flames of War, or the increasingly ludicrous pricing of Games Workshop's stable of products, they at least make an effort to be consumer friendly in terms web shoppers who may not be able to get to trade shows or pop round on holiday. I don't see that much point in having a site for your product which then asks the global consumer to use snail mail for catalogs or placing orders.

If we want our hobby to survive beyond the big names in fantasy and sci fi gaming I think the manufacturing side of things is going to have to embrace marketing and current methods of conducting web sales. Younger audiences can appreciate better, more diverse game engines and they can devour historical content, provided folks producing these make an effort to keep current with HOW they shop and receive information.

John Leahy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Apr 2012 7:16 p.m. PST

I actually agree with a lot of what you say. However, you are forgetting that for many folks who run businesses are a cottage industry and or a part time job often done simply out of their love of the hobby.

Thanks,

John

MajorB05 Apr 2012 2:01 a.m. PST

Oh dear, that old saaw again? Must be the time of year …

I don't see that much point in having a site for your product which then asks the global consumer to use snail mail for catalogs or placing orders.

Whenever this comes up, I cite the excellent example of Navwar.
navwar.co.uk/nav/default.asp
Yes, you have to order by snail mail, but the proprietor of Navwar does very nicely thank you from the business and sees absolutely no need to either provide pictures or an electronic ordering facility.

Go figure.
If you want his products badly enough you will order them anyway.

6sided Inactive Member05 Apr 2012 2:26 a.m. PST

Judging from the evidence around me, the hobby is not greaying and the dinosaurs are just unaware of social media, blogs etc or ignore/deride, so miss out.

My opinion is that if you sell something visual you should have the common decency to put photos on the site you sell from. Perhaps I am a minority but if I can't see a photo I assume they are not keen to show their product quality and I move on.

Jaz
6sided.net

Keraunos Inactive Member05 Apr 2012 2:55 a.m. PST

indeed, this 'greying of the hobby' nonesense is something I have been hearing since I was a kid in the 80s.

Individually, we are greying.

Collectively we are not.

The hobby is in ruder health now than every before.

So while its damned annoying when I am internet shopping to find no images and no shoppping cart for my order. If the business thinks it doesn't need it, then that is their decision – if I want the figures (etc) then I will do buinsess with them, and if I do not, then I won't, and if I have no idea what the product looks like, then I won't know what I am missing until someone shows me in some other way.

Yesthatphil05 Apr 2012 4:06 a.m. PST

Diversity is a characteristic of today's world.

That means people don't all do things the same way. And sometimes people don't conform for reasons other than backwardness and decrepitude.

Personal logo Forlorn Hope Games Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Apr 2012 5:58 a.m. PST

Hey, check out our shop. This is backed with a full database solution (I write databases in my other business) that allows me to run this business (the whole business, CRM, Invoice PO, PI, stock control etc) and support an eBay store, this online shop and now a facebook store.

Online Store

If you fancy this for your own business (or can suggest it for others), give me a shout. I'm happy to put a solution together for you ;-)

Ye ye, I know it's missing a few things such as a search and user log on, but that's not a big problem to put together if needed, we've done it for other solutions.

… it does my VAT returns too ;-)

Gary

Yesthatphil05 Apr 2012 6:47 a.m. PST

Ironically, the link doesn't work …

Personal logo Forlorn Hope Games Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Apr 2012 7:00 a.m. PST

DOH

Why does it do that? I had this problem before

forlornhopegames.co.uk

WarWizard05 Apr 2012 7:30 a.m. PST

I don't need a lot of bells and whistles, but by now (2012) I think websites that sell any type of product to consumers should have photos and allow some type of shopping cart for ordering of the product.

MajorB05 Apr 2012 8:07 a.m. PST

should have photos and allow some type of shopping cart

To some, those are bells and whistles.

Personal logo Forlorn Hope Games Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Apr 2012 1:47 a.m. PST

People get tied up in what they are doing and what they enjoy. If you make figures and do shows then you can easily get tied up in the routine and before you realize it 20 years have passed, you haven't had to change so you haven't.

But things have changed. There are far fewer shops for people to go into and pick up the figures to look at. I find it a pain if I look at a site and get presented with a text list and a phone number. It's easier to go to another site that has a decent eshop.

G

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2012 9:12 p.m. PST

From the Navwar site:

………..we have no e-mail facilities and regret we are unable to take telephone orders.

Really? You have a computer and something of a website, but no email facilities? You won't even answer the phone? What should I make of that but a display of total indifference for the customer. If they have little interest in their customers, why should I expect a commitment to quality in their product?

Sorry, but the companies that I do business with answer their phones, answer their emails, deal with questions I have, and are flexible in handling special needs and requests. In short, they treat their customers as they would like to be treated when they are customers. A lesson apparently lost on Mr. Navwar.

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