Former America Airlines exec Jeff Katz thinks that shopping in the future will be a lot like booking a plane ticket. Like booking a ticket on Kayak, Orbitz, or Priceline, shoppers could select and pay for “a package of services that we value most — from an aisle seat … to in-flight Wifi connectivity,” Katz wrote in Fast Company
In the past, airlines included meals, checked bags, and picking a seat as part of the price. But because consumers cared most about a cheap price, airlines changed their model.
Katz sees the same happening to retail and the prevalence of mobile devices is contributing to the notion that we should be able to “compare prices and buy or wish-list the items we like from an online retailer.”
Katz explains his grand vision:
A hint of water while you shop for your Gap jeans and shirts? A dressing room with the option to prepay for your purchase? The best price for a product offered only in-store? If retailers can find a way to make this transition without sacrificing customer satisfaction–something the airline industry has failed to do despite (or perhaps because of) its emphasis on pricing-–they will be in a better position to accommodate the shoppers of the future.
Katz’s concept is interesting to think about. Could you image a day where retailers offered prices in-store that you couldn’t find anywhere else?
While we don’t agree that cash registers and check-out personnel are additional services, retailers can stand to learn a thing or two from the airline industry.
Hopefully the lessons learned will benefit consumers instead of nickle and dime them for additional services.
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