from you to me is a publishing business that sells to both the trade (Gift, book, baby and other specialist shops found on the high street and online) and direct to customers through its own website.

Our website helps us to have a platform where we can show off all our journals and books as well as testing new ideas with our customers - who we know will give us honest and open feedback. We can also offer personalised products where the customer can choose to change the name or message on the cover of the book, amend the contents or even upload personal photographs. These bespoke journals and books are then printed especially for the customer as a 'one-off' and shipped direct to the address of choice.

If I received a £1 or $1 for every time I heard a high-street retailer complains about how hard it is to compete with the likes of Amazon, I would now be a very wealthy man. I also get challenged by shops on whether I am comfortable selling online through our own website direct to consumers because most publishers or wholesalers do not.

Amazon is not going to go away. I personally use Amazon to purchase a number of things. It is convenient as you can access all sorts of weird and wonderful things, discover customer reviews on those products and suppliers ... and these are delivered free of charge. So all other retailers, ourselves included, need to play their part offering something different or in a different or better way to compete.

So - my response on why we choose to sell online is clear.

Our trade customers can also choose to buy our stock using our website interface and to make all the stock items available in their own shops. This gives them an easy way to review all our range, pricing and marketing as well as review our latest offers as well as 'point of sale' materials to help them promote the books in store.

We offer our personalised journal and book model to the trade for them to offer this solution too. The High-Street & online retailers needs to complete with each other as well as the likes of Amazon. To offer personalised solutions is another way for bricks and mortar retailers to make something special available to the people who walk in the door. The retailer can take the money, get the sale and profit and with the added advantage of not having any stock-risk. We do also offer this to online retailers.

But what I am very clear about is that we would never discount products on our site or 'under-cut' our trade partners. We need these partners as much as they need us and other creators of good products. I 'could' undercut them because we make a better margin selling to a customer than we do to the trade, however I would never do this.

We charge postage and packing on orders on our website - and we know that some of our trade customers decide not to do this - that is fine, it is their choice.

We are also working hard to encourage customers to visit our trade customers We have a new project underway now to do just that. We are investing in national marketing to encourage children to visit their chosen shop in order to enter a summer competition. The retailers will benefit from increased footfall after the initial sale as customers will need to return with their competition entries. We will be mentioning all shops who want to be part of this scheme as well as providing them with local marketing materials to promote sales.

This campaign is all about getting kids excited about writing during the summer ... and hopefully off their electronic devices.

The books included in this competition are our Rant & Rave collection and if you are a trade retailer and would like to be part of this campaign, please do get in touch with Alex, our Trade Relationship Champion

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Well the sun is shining today and summer is on its way - so let's work together to give our customers the products and service they want - wherever they decide to shop.

Happy Retailing!



Neil is CEO of from you to me ltd.

from you to me believes in making beautiful gift books and journals that enrich lives by creating cherished moments and capturing special memories.