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My biggest beef with retailers (in light of the big NRF show)
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  retail
0 Comments | 1,019 Visits |
Forget stock-outs and clueless sales clerks. The most annoying part of the retail experience is the checkout.
There. I've said it.
Here's why: the checkout is the last part of the retail experience. It should also be the shortest. Yet many retailers I frequent insist on trying on making it the longest, not to mention the most uncomfortable. Usually it involves trying to sell me more stuff at the checkout - loyalty cards, memberships, a 2-liter bottle of Coke for only 50 cents more. Others want my postal code.
Invariably I say no. Little do they know that mentally, I've already checked out and am now worrying about whether I put enough money in the meter.
Don't get me wrong: I understand why retailers operate this way. Better insights into their customers' purchase habits are a great way to increase profits and loyalty. The point-of-sale (POS) is in most stores the only opportunity for face-to-face contact with the customer and hence, the only opportunity to get customers to sign up or in the case of postal codes, offer them up.
I have no stats into the effectiveness of these techniques. Perhaps they're tremendously effective and I'm the one who's a few standard deviations from the mean. And it's not like I'm losing sleep over this issue. I still shop at the stores that try to sell me stuff after the fact. But sitting through the inevitably doomed sales pitch always makes me uncomfortable. And impatient. And acutely aware of the time I'm losing in this line. None of these should not be part of the retail experience.
Encouraging people to join these programs should happen when we're still making decisions about shampoo and shaving cream, not when they're trying to remember where they parked.
What do you think?
(Photo by me.)