My advice to retailers
I appreciate that retail is a tough business. And with today’s economy and leasing costs, it’s even worse. But it’s tough times for the customer too and I think retailers need to make a few changes if they want to obtain my shopping dollar.
Tone down the greetings.
I want sales clerks to be friendly, of course, but greetings have gone overboard. I don’t want to say hi 10 times, talk about the weather, discuss whether or not I’m working that day, or reveal my plans for the afternoon. Call me a grouch, but it doesn’t make me feel welcome, it makes me feel hounded. At one store I frequent regularly, the sales rep said, “You come here a lot, do you live around here?” If you’re monitoring how often I’m coming into your store, that doesn’t make me feel like coming back.
Get more mirrors.
Ladies clothiers that don’t have three-way mirrors, or even a smaller mirror that I can hold up, astound me. I am not buying shorts, pants, a clingier skirt or dress, let alone a bathing suit, without one. I usually carry a makeup mirror with me but sometimes I forget. If you can’t show me my back view, you’ll be seeing my backside when I walk out the door, empty handed.
I will go look in store, but I often buy online. Increasingly, that’s where I’m finding better prices. A pair of shoes: $235 in store. Online at the retailer’s Canadian website: $198. A dress: $265 in store. Online: on sale for $134! Even when I add in shipping, handling, duties and taxes, I often save money. When I tell sales clerks this, I get an “Oh, really?” Yes. Really.
I know it can cost more to run a brick and mortar store, but I need to watch my pocketbook too. So yes, I’m turning into a show-roomer. One Australian store is charging $5 for people who “just want to look.” If that’s the wave of the future, so be it. I’m still saving money.
Make it easy for me to give you my money.
I’m a flesh and blood customer standing before you. Salesperson, if you’re on the phone, take a message and call them back. If the phone rings, let the machine pick up. Deal with me first. One in the hand is better than two in the bush.
Got a retail beef? Let’s hear it!
Top photo: JapanDave/Flickr