Photo: Noelas via Flickr
Amazon presents a threat to every major retailer. The website peddles everything from electronics to food, and consumers can’t get enough. New York City writer Mark Hurst wrote about his experience buying a skillet in New York on his website, creativegood.com.
Hurst went to a Williams-Sonoma store to buy a skillet. He was frustrated that there was no information available about the items, and no associates to tell him what kind of materials or quality they were.
“Several of the pots have no label below them. Others have no price. And, this being a retail store, there were no customer reviews. I also had no way to compare Le Creuset to other brands, and no way to understand which product type – copper? cast iron? steel? anodized? – would work best for me.
And I was standing alone. No one at any time approached to offer help, even though I was circling the cookware section. (This might have just been a momentary lapse, as I’ve seen helpful staff on other visits.) Overall the store lacked information on its products – call it a “data desert” – which led me to pull out my iPhone and open the Amazon app.
Within two minutes I had read a half-dozen customer reviews and compared prices. The skillet was a good choice, and as it turned out, Amazon was $10 cheaper and offered free shipping. A couple of taps later I had ordered the skillet from Amazon – and avoided standing in a checkout line.”
Hurst brings up some great points. Today’s consumer expects a lot of information and customer service.
Brick-and-mortar retailers are going to have to adopt to this mentality if they want to survive.
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