I am an online customer.
When I want a product, I first google to do my research. I will search by need or product category and then, either drill down into the product and service explanation, or check out customer forums to make my decision.
This year almost all my purchases were online…I bought a $2,500 sofa bed, off the web page, just based on the compelling story of careful manufacture and comfort….resplendent with their scientific diagrams which hooked me right in. Even the company’s url was doing it for me. The no nonsense business name www.strictlycomfort.com.au, told me these guys shared my values.
I also swapped cosmetic brands, after research into a skincare care need (well not a need, I am a little obsessed about my skin), took me a forum where one, seemingly very informed customer, was waxing lyrical about a specific brand, Dr Perricone. Dr Perrcione has positioned himself as the authority on skin care. In a clinical white coat, he leads with a Patented Sciences header (at this point I am a goner). His products showcased with beakers and test tubes, to keep you in the trance of his scientific supremacy.
Dr Perricone walks you through his science in educational videos, and does what all highly profitable cosmetic companies do, creates a new product for every ailment. You can charge more when you create a new product for every (so called) need. You can make more money when you make more needs, enlarged pores…mmm really? Perricone’s sales pleas are problem-solution. Check out the marketing genius of Dr Perrcione at http://www.perriconemd.com, ladies be careful, it’s very seductive.
I bought a new heater, made all my decisions online, got the relative prices online and walked into David Jones and bought it. (Hey it was cold!). I also bought a fridge online, last year, made my choice online and cut the deal over the phone. The brilliance of the Dyson heater got me thinking vacuum cleaners, Dyson. Maybe they had been taking note of Dr Perricone too, Dyson had problem-solution vacuum cleaners… like ones for pets owners. I have made my choice and when the time comes I will pick it up from Myer or David Jones, (they are acting as dispatch in this transaction, the real retail value is online).
I am still making an appearance in bricks and mortar stores. I took the time in this post to ponder why. Well there is the Apple store, they lure you in with online and retail price parity. Apple are committed to a face to face sales experience for their brand. It is a complex sale and requiring dialogue and emotional revving up, that can’t be achieved as easily online.
I am still swanning around the ground floor of Department Stores enchanted by those womanly flavours of perfume and the glitz of cosmetic packaging. I find that I am now trained to wait for the “gift with purchase” as I rationalize with myself as to why I am not buying it cheaper online. As I shop, I hear from a shop assistant that bricks and mortar cosmetics are dropping 40% storewide to create price parity with etailers. “Wow” thinks me, “I can return to shop here as I did 4 years ago.”
Are there somethings that will be always bought in a physical store? I am starting to wonder. Take a bra for instance or eye glasses, you need to try them on right? Well True&Co use an online bra specifier to give you the best bra options, which they claim replaces the need for those awful fitting room experiences. https://trueandco.com. True&Co send you five in the mail to try and return what you don’t want. I am sure that drives up the volume.
The five to try must work because Warby Parker, the stellar performer online glasses shop does just that…sends you 5 pairs. They must have cracked the code on performance because Warby Parker quintupled its sales results in 2011. Check them out at http://www.warbyparker.com/
More shopping confessions coming soon.
Am I what I buy? Am I how I shop? The artwork of the conceptual artist Barbara Kruger flashes in my mind “ I shop therefore I am”.
Founder Thought Leaders Circle