Mack’s Craic

17Feb13

Change must come from within

I got “tutted” at in a shop last week. It was the first of two very different shopping experiences I’ve had recently. I wanted to get Julie something for Valentines Day, so I parked in a pay-and-display car park near the shop but discovered I didn’t have any change for the machine. I nipped into the shop and asked if they could change a tenner. Eventually, the shop assistant did give me change but that was after a performance that included a loud “tut”, an eye roll, an explanation of how precious change was (even though I could see the till was brimming with pound coins), a piercing look directly into my eyes over the top of her glasses and an inspection of my ten pound note as if it was counterfeit. I WAS intending to buy something from that shop but after feeding the pay and display machine with the change I’d been made to feel guilty about; I walked further on (in the rain) and went to a different shop. I didn’t go back to that first shop and probably never will.

The other shopping experience I had was via the internet. I bought a brand new guitar amplifier. I had a choice of literally hundreds and could compare prices and watch video reviews from all over the world. A few days after ordering, it arrived and I didn’t even have to leave the house. It involved no human contact whatsoever.

To be honest, I would have preferred to have gone to a music shop. I could have seen, touched and even played through the amps in the store. Music shops have a particular smell that I like and the people that work there are interesting to say the least. They’re all musicians and you can hang out and talk about gigs and kit for ages, but the truth is they don’t have anywhere near the choice you have on the net and they can’t always match the prices.

I don’t understand why some high street retailers announce that they have the “largest selection” or the “best prices”. Why are they getting into a fight they can’t win? The one area where they’ll beat the web every time is on the shopping “experience”. If it’s a good one, we might even pay a bit more for it.

When faced with a competitor that’s “high tech”, maybe modern retailers should be “high touch”. – Not, “high tutts”.

Craic on!

Check out the latest Mack Nuggets at http://www.mackmedia.co.uk .

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