Last winter my wife visited one of your stores to purchase some Wrangler jeans for my son. She wanted to purchase five or so pairs in the 16 slim size. But there was only one pair in stock.
A week later I returned to see if your store had been restocked. I’ve always been pleased by the pleasant, courteous, and prompt service your associates deliver. Although friendly, this time the associate was unable to find any in stock. He apologized for the inconvenience and I left. Several days later, I visited your competitor, Sheplers, and purchased their only three pair in that size.
What if, when my wife had only found one pair in that size, the sales associate had led her to a computer and ordered the other four pair online. Perhaps using a page only available to in-store personnel, the associate could have coded the order so that he received any commission that was due.
Because of the inconvenience caused by not having the merchandise in stock, he would have offered my wife ten per cent off the regular price. My wife could have made a single payment for both the one pair of jeans bought in the store and the four pair she would have ordered. The jeans would have been delivered to your store within one week giving you another chance to sell us merchandise when we came to pick them up.
However, because your associate failed to remind us of your Web site (we didn’t realize we could shop online) you lost an eighty-dollar sale, plus whatever else we might have bought when we returned to pick up the order.
I’d like to suggest:
- You train, hold accountable, and reward associates for referring customers to your Web site.
- Set up an extra computer in the public areas of your stores so that customers can order online before they leave (and go to Sheplers or somewhere else). Provide a discount if the merchandise is not in stock to make up for the inconvenience. Provide POS advertising about the Web site and treat the computer as a kiosk. To save on shipping and to cross-sell when the customer returns, have the merchandise delivered to the store.
I hope you will consider this idea both as a way to improve the shopping experiences of your customers and earn you more profits.