Traditional retail is in trouble. More and more people are buying products online. It’s convenient, easy and, for the most part, cheaper than going on a shopping expedition to the local mall. Retailers have noticed that and are trying to figure out what they need to do in order to be competitive. Unless you are Walmart, the retailer behemoth, you know that you can’t compete purely on price. Not long ago while exchanging some Christmas gifts at The Buckle store at the Cool Springs Mall, I was reminded that as far as retail is concerned there’s still no substitute for a great sales person.
I went to the store to exchange of couple of items with no intention of spending any extra money. An hour and a half later, I left with three extra bags. I was thinking on my way out of the store, “what just happened?” Well, I met Logan Lewis; that’s what happened. Here’s how Logan changed my mind from exchanging a couple of items into buying several more pieces:
He positioned himself as a fashion consultant and expert. They guy not only knows the merchandise well, he understands fashion, trends and loves to talk about what different designers are doing with their clothing lines. During our exchange, Logan went from salesman to fashion expert. His knowledge and enthusiasm moved him from someone trying to meet a quota to a trusted source of information as well as as new trends on men’s wear. I found myself trusting his opinion on what looked good on me. I didn’t mind buying more from him because I knew the stuff would look good.
He gave me what I wanted but didn’t stop there. I was looking for t-shirts and he pointed me to their collection and then said “we just got a shipment of Roar shirts in yesterday, I bought this one for myself. Take a look at these.” Suddenly I went to trying on a t-shirt to trying on a series of high-end designer shirts. He put together a jacket, shirt and jeans combination that looked great. I had to try them on.
If traditional retail is going to survive, it will have to be on the shoulders of a great consumer experience. I could have bought most of the stuff I bought from Logan online, but I would not have done it. Not only I spent more money there, I enjoyed talking fashion with someone knowledgeable and friendly. Simply put, you’ll buy from people you like, and you’ll buy even more from people you like who are experts.
What was your last great retail experience?