Are You Being Served - Is Retail Dying?
Some say shopping malls are dying a slow death because of online shopping. We are not retail analysts, just people who prefer the convenience of online shopping. But we truly believe traditional stores still can survive if they transform and bring us something truly worth visiting them.
Visiting a brick-and-mortar store should be special - so give customers a special experience. When we visit a store for the first time we just like to know if the items they sell are the items we are looking for. Pushy shop-assistants asking “how can I help you?” assume that you need assistance even before you can make up your mind whether you want help or not. We always try to be polite and do not want to offend the sales people by asking if their New Arrivals come out in the late 80' or by saying that turquoise is not that fashionable at all and if we just need a USB stick, trust us, we already own a computer.
Why not learn from an online store with a chat function. Just let us know that you are available if we have any questions.
Most shop owners, especially department stores, make it very complex to find what we are looking for. The reason? The more time we spend in their shop, the more we buy because of the walking and searching for our items. The only direction we are looking for is the exit if the shop doesn’t have a floor plan that tells us where we can find what we are looking for!
So, how should a shop owner be like in our opinion?
Personal, but not too pushy, act as a personal shopper when we really need some advice. We really love it when you remember our name (it's right there, on our credit card!), it just makes us feel special.
Honest, tell us if we should or should not buy that dress. We do understand you need to make money but look at us customers as a long term investment, our closet is already too small because of the clothes we have and never wear.
Offer to deliver items to the house so we do not have to walk all day with the shopping bags. Think of it as a positive way to get our address so you can send personalized offers and deals.
And last but not least: Make sure you have an online store as well. When we know your size 7 shoes fit perfectly we will visit your online shop when we don’t have time to visit your store or when we really don’t want to go outside because of rain or snow. Just think of it as a restaurant: Sometimes we like to go out and experience all those great items you sell, but sometimes we like to stay home on our couch. Just don’t forget: we are hungry on both occasions!