Monday, May 17, 2010

Why I Didn't Buy the Pants from Your Store

I didn't buy the pants. Not because I didn't like them, but because I lost all interest after dealing with too many barriers " the barriers retailers put up between a customer's interest in making a purchase and actually making the purchase.

I had gone to the large retail store looking for a hat to take on vacation. I walked into the store and was immediately overwhelmed. It was too big and too difficult to locate the area of the store that might have what I was looking for. After going around in circles several times, I realized that they did not have the hats I was looking for " but I did spot a cute pair of hiking shorts that I thought I could use on my trip. I grabbed several pairs and then wandered around aimlessly looking for a dressing room. I found a cashier and asked him where they were. He walked me to the dressing room and then, rather than unlocking the door for me to get in, he left and told me I had to press a call button by the door and someone would come and let me in. So I did, and I stood there " waiting and waiting and waiting.
All these barriers made me ready to leave the store " without the pants. The clerk with a dressing room key finally arrived and didn't appear too happy about having to stop doing whatever it was she was doing to let me into the dressing room. In spite of all these barriers, I decided I would buy the pants and headed to the register. When I arrived, the clerk behind the counter told me he was closed and I would have to trek all the way across the store to another register that was open. It would also have required I trek all the way back to exit the store near my car. That was the last straw. I walked out, without the pants, without making a purchase and feeling that I had just wasted an hour of my time.
I will not likely shop there again. Not because they don't carry items I like, but because they made it so difficult to find things, try them on and check out. Ask yourself, what barriers are up in your business that may turn off your customers and delay or prevent them from doing business with you? Whether you own a retail store, an e-commerce site, or a service business, take a moment and walk through all the steps it takes a customer to make a purchase. Reduce your barriers and you will increase your sales!

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