Monday, December 6, 2010

Shopping Process

When my husband shopped for a camera as a gift for my birthday, he visited a few retailers to see what options existed, talked to sales staff and physically handled the products. He started out thinking he would be buying me a Flip camera and ended up with a Sony Bloggie, which I love (see below).

When I started my search for a new TV, I started with a telephone call to a tech-savvy friend who got me started on the right path. Then, I conducted some online research and discussed some options with my husband. I made my choice and called in the order. The TV is ten times more expensive than the camera, but I will not see it in person until it’s in my living room.

As these examples demonstrate, shopping methods may vary by person. Also, our shopping process may fluctuate depending on what product we plan to buy – some items can be researched in advance, but require a “test drive” before commitment to buy. No matter if your customer’s shopping methods are CALL, BRICK or CLICK, are you providing an experience consistent with your brand?

Examine how inbound calls are handled, review your stores’ online brand and assess if your business is set up to deliver the best in-store experience. Your goal should not be to match your competitors, but rather to outshine them. Customer service before, during and after the sale (by phone, online or in person) can lead to sales increases and repeat business.

Why I Love my new Sony Bloggie
Just in time for holiday shopping:
1) Compact size
2) Lightweight
3) Rechargeable, removable, replaceable battery
4) Memory chip upgrade
5) USB port
6) Easy to use
7) It’s blue
8) Swiveling camera head
9) Affordable, so I can let the kids use it
10) Because it was a thoughtful gift from my husband

Happy Holidays!