Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

TIP: Where to place your in-store pickup counter

June 17, 2011

While conducting her seminar at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition this week, RSR Research partner Nikki Baird made an interesting point about the dilemma of the in-store pickup counter. These counters, as you know, are for customers who purchase products from you online or over the phone.

So where exactly should these counters be situated in your store?

“Ideally, as a business you’d say, I want my pickup location to be at the back corner of the store because I want customers to walk through the entire store to get there,” Baird said. “That’s what Walmart has done. Unfortunately, from the customer perspective, the biggest draw [of online shopping] is convenience.”

So, in other words, if you force a customer walk through a maze of aisles and salespeople to retrieve their conveniently purchased items, they’re not going to appreciate it. Customers who shop online love the ability to effortlessly browse and buy merchandise, so making them wind their way through an entire store can defeat the purpose of online shopping in the first place.

On the other extreme end, placing the pickup counter at the very front of your store doesn’t serve you, either. Baird mentioned another retailer, The Container Store, as a business that places its pickup counter directly in front. “There’s not even impulse items there for customers to look at,” Baird said.

So depending on your store design, placement of your in-store pickup counter would fall somewhere in the middle of both extremes. You need to have this counter in an area where there’s a little bit of eye candy to catch a customer’s eye, but not so much that he may as well have bought the item in the store, instead of online.

Buying vs. Shopping

December 22, 2009

Here’s My Take On Holiday Shopping

Men buy and women shop. And they shop and they shop.  At least in my family, where I buy and my wife, Bobbie, shops.

I’ve been married to Bobbie for 42 years and I just realized the other day that I buy and she shops; this difference in the way we spend time in stores has caused tension  — and a few flare-ups– in our marriage over the years.

It’s a Delmont family joke that when Bobbie tells me she’s just going to “run in” to the store, I don’t know what she means. After all these years, I still don’t get the message: She’s SHOPPING, not BUYING. And you don’t shop in just a few minutes.

I always assume she is running in to BUY something, a simple straightforward task that should only take a few minutes. Walk to the department, pick up the item, check out and back to the car where I’m waiting for her. I can occupy myself calmly in the car for a few minutes and while she does her BUYING. But after 15 minutes or so, I start to get edgy. That’s where the tension comes in.

The problem, of course, is that I never realized she wasn’t BUYING, she was SHOPPING. And that takes longer than buying, a lot, lot longer.

When I explained to her the other day my concept of Buying versus Shopping, she looked at me like I was crazy, a look both of us have become familiar with over the years.

The day after we had our discussion, Bobbie reported the talk to her nurse friends at work. “They all told me that you’re nuts,” she said with a small smile when she related the chat.

“If that’s the way he feels” her best friend told Bobbie, “give him a list and let him go on his silly little BUYING trip. See how long it takes him.”

“I’ll make up your list,” she told me. “You can go buying; I’ll stay home by the fire with a glass of wine and my book.” That’s how it came to pass that I was out buying late one evening recently.

How did this happen, I wondered as I trudged across the dark, snowy parking lot toward the distant lights of the Target Superstore?

Buying vs. Shopping. I just wanted to make a point, to reach an agreement on how we would spend our time in the stores. I didn’t want change to my lifestyle. After 42 years, I probably should have known better.

Merry Christmas, shoppers. And buyers, if there are any of  you out there. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas at 952/893-6876 or

Credit Crunch Keeps Lid on Dealers

November 2, 2009

JoeDelmontIf you’re waiting eagerly for 2010 to bring your business a boost, I’ve got some disappointing news for you. There isn’t going to be a big industry turnaround next year, and your friendly local lender probably isn’t going to give you as much money as it has in the past. Tight credit — in both commercial and retail segments — is going to keep the lid on spending and will continue to make it tough to run a business.

Even if lenders decide to turn on the money machine, there are indications that consumers aren’t willing to take on any more debt. That means if your prospects can’t pay cash for a new machine, they’re probably not going to buy one.

Let me be clear about this: I don’t think that the motorcycle industry is going away, and I don’t think that riders have lost their passion for the sport. I do think, however, that the salad days of fast sales and gushing credit that we’ve enjoyed for the last half-dozen years are gone for a long, long time.

Don’t look for any improvement until 2011 at the earliest, unless the credit (more…)