The Tale of Two Purchases

Chris HolmokWe’ve talked before about the importance of connection at the point of decision. Consumers always have their mobile devices within reach and several brands have begun using 2D codes to connect the online and physical worlds at the exact time the consumer is ready to make a decision.
I recently had an excellent ‘connection at the point of decision’ experience at a major retailer.

It’s a week before Christmas and my family decided to all pitch in and buy Mom a new laptop. Being the tech guy of the family, I am put in charge of researching and purchasing the laptop. After looking online I find a nice match for my mom at the price that we want at a major electronics retailer. According to their website, the laptop was in stock at the local store. So I hop in my car and drive down to the store, park 10 miles away and walk into a retail electronics pre-Christmas mad house.

I find the laptop I want, stand in front of it and look for a salesperson to grab one from inventory and take my money. There’s a salesperson one laptop down talking to a lady, but there’s no one around to assist me.

Rather than leave in a huff, I take out my iPhone and scan the QR tag laptop’s product/price tag. It takes me to the product page on Best Buy’s website and I place the order online for pick up at that store. I walk up to the Online Purchase Pickup line, which was empty, and tell them I just placed the order. The person at the counter told me they saw the order, but it takes a couple of minutes to clear their inventory pick system, but they would grab the laptop for me and I could come back in a few minutes and pay for it. Nice.

While the experience at the electronics retailer was good, I had a less-than-pleasing multichannel experience at another major retailer. I’m a big guy, and not all stores carry my size for jeans. I looked online for Levi’s and discovered that this major retailer has my brand and my size for $34. I decide to head to my local store and grab a couple pair. I get to the store and notice the jeans I want are on sale (buy one, get the second 50% off). I try them on and they fit great.

As I walk to the cashier I notice that price tag says $54. That’s $20 more than the online price, and even with the second pair half off, it’s still more than what I’d pay online. I thought maybe it’s a miss-tag. I ask the cashier to check the price, and it is $54. She explains that Levi’s increased the price, and if I wanted the $34 price I’d have to order online.

Needless to say, I didn’t purchase the jeans in-store.

So, here are a couple of takeaways to consider:

  • If I can’t find a sales associate to help me, make it easy for me to get the information (and product) I need without having to waste my time looking for someone.
  • Provide a consistent experience regardless of channel.

Take a closer look at the experiences you’re offering in store, online and mobile. Online, on a mobile device, in-store — it all needs to be consistent. Oh, and mom loves her laptop.

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