Has shopping changed for you? When I go shopping in a department store or looking for a specific item, I have a hard time making the purchase in the store. I go with a plan, hit the right aisle and I feel overwhelmed by choices and no clear way to tell which product is the best buy.
Take skin care for example. There are moisturizers, toners, firming creams, masks, day wear, overnight creams, anti-aging, multi-vitamin, essential oils, professional brands, store brands, organic, essential oils… the list goes on. So how do you choose which product contains the right amount of ingredients to keep your skin looking great?
The answer is the internet. People are choosing to shop online because of the convenience but also because each product has reviews and descriptions that can help narrow the outrageous amount of choices. So, instead of opening our wallets in the stores, we are opening our browsers in search of more information.
In my skincare example, many department stores offer consultants who can help you choose which product will solve your dilemma’s but there is still a missing component, trust. Is the consultant just pushing a particular brand? Or only offering high-value products to earn a greater commission? These stores would do well to include an online portal for buyers to read reviews from real customers if only to add one more layer of comfort to the purchase.
So how does a brick and mortar store offer the same amount of information about a product that can be found online? I have heard the word Edutainment in reference to this dilemma. Create a fun way for customers to learn about the products they are shopping for. In this video, AT&T shows how they have created an experience environment in their flagship store. Instead of being inundated with products that you are not yet comfortable with, they offer fewer products but go into deeper detail as to how they will positively impact your life. If you entered the store with a basic knowledge of what AT&T sells, you probably left with a product you never knew you needed such as a power backpack. Why? Because AT&T gave you the information you needed to make the investment.
The end goal is to help consumers feel comfortable with their purchase. I did not select a skin care product that day because the options were endless and the information was not there to support a specific brand or product. I choose to research what worked for other consumers via reviews and ultimately made my purchase on Amazon. Had the store I visited offered access to reviews or an online portal of some sort, I would have felt more informed and more willing to purchase in store.
Do you also find yourself putting stuff back on the shelf in favor of shopping online?