Number One Distinctive for Traditional Retail: Information
The reason people choose to buy from traditional brick and mortar retail stores in 2013 will be the service we offer. But when we think of service, we tend to think of doing something tangible for the customer, such as gift-wrapping.
This isn’t necessarily the case. What I believe we can and should offer is knowledge, wisdom and experience. The challenge we face is that sometimes, getting product knowledge is like pulling teeth. What does this product look like? How many are in a box? Is this a sequel or prequel to the existing series? Is that Bible a red-letter edition? How many songs are on the bonus DVD?
These are all questions that we need to be able to give authoritative answers to when customers ask. The more information suppliers can give us, the better. The more search tags that can be added to a product, the better. The more customer service reps are available to answer all other questions, the better.
As long as we are being helpful, and we’re not being “showroomed” for customers to subsequently order online, I believe we can maintain market share in 2013.
Search challenges we’ve had already this year:
- All those “Holy Land Gifts” that STL has been posting over the past few days in their new release listings can be seen at http://www.shofartallit.com/
- What are those boxed cards from Cuyler Black’s Inherit The Mirth that sell for $14.99? How many do you get? We’re awaiting an answer from http://nicolebraydengifts.com/Scripts/PublicSite/
- Interesting reviews lately for a new Parachute Band album, Matins Vespers. Cook has it listed as Matins:Vespers, so neither part of the title appears by itself. When you find these errors, usually their webmaster will add the needed tagging. Often they’re using what appears on the spine of the CD case. https://b2b.davidccook.ca/product.htm?Product=327036&Source=Search
- Ingram’s Forthcoming Titles list jumps automatically to the following month, so the most recent new releases you’ll see now are Feb. 1st 2013 titles, and you have to click on “Pub Date,” and then go to “Last” page and work backwards. Refine the list to “Religion” titles before you start browsing the list.
I’m sure you could add your own from just the first few days of the year, right?