Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Morning Scepticism: Sales

If sales people are less useful than the internet for product information, then what's the point of buying in-store that which can be purchased online? We've created sales points with almost no expertise required, the ability to sell is the ability to be polite to the customer and give the pretence of interest. Perhaps this is a good thing, then stores will be purely about price and availability and all those sales people can be replaced by a computer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's the point of buying in-store? When you're buying clothes, the answer is, speed and fit.

If you try something on in-store, and find it doesn't fit, you can just try on the next larger size, within minutes, or just take several adjacent sizes into the fitting room with you; or maybe you try it on, and while it doesn't not fit, it just doesn't "fit" you. How can you tell if those pants will make your butt look big, if you can't try them on?

If you bought it on-line, first it takes a while to arrive. Then, if it doesn't fit, you lose more time sending it back, and you probably can't afford to just order examples in a range of sizes in an effort to shorten up the process. If you send it back and exchange it for another next size, you have another wait before you can see if it'll work for you. And some providers are snarkier than others about returns, some have more complicated procedures for returns, and some will only allow exchanges rather than refunds, which is a bugger when you find that you don't want the item, after all.

(And anyone who thinks that sizes are in any way standardised is clearly living in some other world than the one I shop in!)

Another question is appearance. On-line pictures may, deliberately or not, be deceptive. If you have the object in front of you, you can see how big/heavy it is, whether it is well made, and just what color it is---colors as they appear on-screen frequently don't agree with the eyeballs-on result. The same problems with exchanges/refunds applies here as above.