Retail Store vs. Online Shopping
Have you ever been looking at a product inside a store...and while you're there, you looked up that product on your phone to compare pricing?
I don't usually do that unless it's a really big ticket item. Or if there is some extra incentive to buying from the local store - like warranty, service, bonus add-on services, or if I really like the salesperson or business owner.
But in this recent case... I was buying some new dress shoes. This is a free lesson for retail stores...
I found two pair on the shelf that I liked and asked for my size. They came back with shoes that were a size smaller and 2.5 times bigger. They said they didn't have my size in stock...BUT THEY COULD ORDER THEM FOR ME. I asked about another shoe...they didn't have my size in that shoe either! (and just for the record, my size is a 9.5, we're not talking about Shaq-size here)
Here's what I'm thinking. I'm here right now though, I don't want to come back. And I don't want to wait 3 weeks. So, my wife got her phone out and searched on Amazon for the shoe I liked best. Of course they had my size...and here's the kicker... it was $20 cheaper. Same shoe! The salesperson also said, "If you come back tomorrow, most of these shoes will be on sale." Really? The ones I want aren't in stock, dude! Why would I come back?!
I was ready to pay the sticker price at the store THAT DAY...but because they didn't have it in stock, my shoes are being shipped to my home in just a few days. And I saved a substantial amount of money by doing that.
How can a fairly popular retail store plan on "making it" when this happens? I'm sure I'm not the only one. And their corporate big wigs probably blame their decrease in sales on "the marketing". No. Just run a better store. Stay on top of your inventory. Maybe pay your people a little better and train them right.
And an employee should then anticipate that we would search online for that product...and counter that. "If you let us order them for you, we'll give you a discount of $__ and also let you order a 2nd pair at 40% off. Or something. But employees aren't given the authority to do that (dumbly), and in their "sales meetings" nothing like this is probably ever talked about.
No wonder big chain retail stores are struggling. Amazon's not. They're banking on the fact that we'll continue to have a crappy experience at the brick n mortar stores.
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