Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Nutshell SmartPhone Wallet

The Walnut

  • Designed for SmartPhones.
    • Reinforced 'phone platform for protection
  • Genuine Leather 'shell.
    • Safety Shielded Magnetic Clasp.
  • Micro-tech lining. 
    • Holds 'phone super-secure. 
    • Reliably remove and replace phone.
  • Folds in use
    • Perfect stand for portrait or widescreen viewing.
  • Slots and pocket for cards and notes.
    • Branded leather card carrier with pocket under.
  • New Zealand made.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Challenges from the Trenches

 At Nutshell there is a constant barrage of requests for cases to hold a never ending tsunami of mobile devices. Which we, of course, welcome. Let it never end, say we.

But just how do we create the listing you see below, which lives in the Samsung category of our online catalog and enables you to buy your own tailor-made Nutshell?

We take the dimensions of the device (the height, the width and the depth of the device), gleaned from at least three different places on the 'net, and then match them to the nominal internal dimensions of our cases. In nine out of ten times we will, almost instantly, find a match; an existing case that will squeeze or flatten sufficiently to very comfortably protect the device in a snug leather-covered enclosure.

Very occasionally matching a Nutshell to a device (or an accessory cover) can prove to be a more daunting challenge. Especially when the manufacturer of the accessory case has gone out of its way to give the cover some unique properties to make it harder to drop...or to accidentally leave lying around.

The hardest material to match to (so far) has been the new range of accessories using super-sticky silicon on the places where the user holds them. This material can prove problematic, as it can be so sticky it makes it difficult to extract the device from a case that would otherwise be a neat and tidy fit. In these cases we have to (by trial and error) re-size our suggestion so that, to comfortably hold the device and be big enough to make it  easy to extract, the case actually has to have more space inside.

We really appreciate the input. If you give us a heads up on a new device, the best way we can show our appreciation is by accompanying our reply with a discount code. It is our small way of saying "thanks".

Friday, May 20, 2011

Social Media - what does it really mean?

Nutshell is all about selling little leather holsters made from natural leather. In a word; professionalism is what drives us everyday.

We work long hours to make sure (as much as possible) everything is correct and right on our website. That the links work. That the product matches are correct so that you will get the right product to best protect the device that you own.

It is not that easy a task, but it is one we have been doing now for over ten years. So I guess you could say that after all this time we must be getting good at it. Right?

Well, you would think so. And we would like you to think so.

But often it is not easy. Often armed with only the information available publicly on the inter-web we make judgement calls about product and the devices we just "know" they will fit. Or so we fervently hope.

It is not always the case...that the case we make will be the right case for you. If you get my drift. But we seem to score more often than not.

Occasionally we get great comments from our users. These we grab with both hands...look lovingly upon and copy into our website testimonials (we are sure you have seen them. Haven't you?) In case you haven't taken the time to look, have a read. They are all genuine. We promise.

But your comments are important to us; in fact we could say that they are our lifeblood / reason for being. Without you why the heck would we continue to do this; day after day; month after month; year after year.

Sometimes we all need a hand. You get one from us when you buy a Nutshell that provides the sort of protection other manufacturers dream about. We get ours when you tell us it worked.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Social Media - Getting the Message Out

In the 13 years we have been actively designing, promoting and selling Nutshell products, word of mouth has always been our strongest means of getting the message out.

We do not believe in constantly barraging our customers with email exhortations to "tell your friends". Rather we have depended on the fact that we make such great products that folk naturally want to share their good fortune in finding and purchasing our products with their friends...that it has been unnecessary.

And as we all know, in recent years the growth of 'social media' means it is now easier than ever for our customers (for that read friends) to tell their friends about Nutshell and our range of matches for our belt cases and the ever growing mobile phone marketplace.

Recently our hosting service, Network Solutions, added social media functionality to our catalog.  That's the set of buttons you can now find at the top of the left hand column on every page. Clicking those makes it even easier for you to share your love of Nutshell with others.

For that - we sincerely thank you.
Thank you.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Down Under" - Shaken - not Stirred

Location, location, location. That's the adage that makes a success out of the place you call home and/or the house you own  - or so some folk would have you believe.

It sure is true for Nutshell, located as we are in the North of New Zealand. Unlike those Kiwis living three hundred miles away in Canterbury, in the warmer climes of Auckland we do indeed count ourselves fortunate for our location - beyond belief and an overwhelming sense of relief.

The result of those 'quakes in Christchurch has just stunned us, as a nation, into a strong sense of inevitability; que sera, sera; the ceaseless media coverage at the local level has left us speechless and somewhat like stunned mullets. An endless and ongoing outpouring of heart-felt grief at the senseless loss of life and destruction that took place at lunch time, 12:51 pm on February 22, when the ground shook, violently, in the heart of a bustling Christchurch, one of the South Pacific's most picturesque of cities.

As the event sinks ever-increasingly into the background clutter of time and history, the news from the aftermath continues to overwhelm us locals; more than 10,000 properties now are to be abandoned and knocked down; destroyed. Entire suburbs swallowed in the relentless ooze of 'liquefaction'; their families and residents relocated 'someplace else' - like Auckland.

As the assault-by-media dies down we know way better than many other Kiwis that there is a world outside the immediate environment; we count ourselves very fortunate to have our customers living 'someplace else'. We have been heartened by the condolences that you have sent us; the notes and responses we share often containing a small mention of the disaster down South. It is appreciated.

As a New Zealand exporter of high quality, locally made leather products we want you all to know that we are fine; our piece of "down under" is intact. Life goes on.

"How may we help you?"

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Rising Cost of Online Advertising

When we started Nutshell in 1997 it cost pennies to advertise our product and services using PPC (pay per click) advertising; today it can cost lots and lots of $$$,.

Back then, when the web was a bright shiny new thing, many merchants, like us, were experimenting with this newfangled Internet environment. Trying to work out what worked and what did not work; a long and lengthy and very time consuming and laborious experience.

Along the way we learnt which 'keywords' worked best for our audience and which were a waste of time. We also learnt which combination of copy, words and phrases, were best to trigger millions of pairs of eyeballs enough to make that decision to click-thru and find out what it was we had to offer. At our cost.

We watched avidly as search engines developed methodologies for sorting the wheat from the chaff; weeding out those sites that were  primarily 'spam' driven and offered little or no value to the growing audience of web-surfers. And we, along with many others, suffered from nasty folk who played the 'click-fraud' game of repeatedly hitting us, and driving up our PPC costs in order to make it uneconomic to advertise on certain platforms.

As the environment matured and more and more merchants discovered that they too could advertise their products and services in similar fashion, the costs rose and rose. It became expensive to do what we once did for pennies; it is after all an environment were the biggest dog gets to munch on the largest bone. Obviously web engines and promotional companies were quick to realize that not only was there a healthy dollar to be made, but also that some people were prepared to pay obscene amounts of money to have their listings at the top of every search result.

However, longevity does mean something - other than the continual drip, drip, drip of the marketing dollar.

Because Nutshell has now been in existence as a web entity for going on 14 years, it is likely that you will easily find us by a generalized web search, even though we no longer use that scatter gun approach of throwing dollars at online advertising.

We believe that good products plus great customer satisfaction...couple with the fact that we are still the only web merchant operating in the mobile accessory niche who offers a hand made tailor-made service, will continue to see us make new friends and find new customers, no matter where you are.

Thanks to all who have joined us on this ride into the future.
Long may it continue.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Welcome to 2011

Happy New Year. A new start to yet another series of seconds minutes hours days and months...which will all add up to be 2011. What will it bring?
Doubtless, many things, but in the world of mobile you can be sure of one thing - many, many more mobile devices.
Already CES is behind us; an annual talk fest and show'n'tell that attracts media attention to this niche market like no other. A place where new devices are rolled out and expectant vendors watch carefully to see if the passersby react positively, it at all. Many of these 'new' devices will doubtless sink without trace - for a variety of reasons. Too big. Too small. Even too much "me too". Marketing will trumpet the advantages and advances.  But in the end you, the consumer, will be the King maker; after all it will be your dollars that determine who will rise and who will fall.
Is smaller better? Are tablets finally going to 'come of age' and embrace multiple operating systems in a manner that makes sense to us all - handwriting recognition, long the preserve of Microsoft's mobile tablet platform may begin to appear on other devices driven by other operating systems. Or will it? I would not hold my breath on that.
Regardless of the different devices that will raise their collective heads above the parapet in the coming year, you can rest assured that Nutshell will be there in support, with our growing range of product offerings to provide protection for what, after all, are fast becoming increasingly sophisticated devices.