Retail Romance: A love that on-line shopping cannot endure

on Jan 21 in Blog by

Is it just me or does not everyone love a good love story?  Romeo and Juliet, Scarlet and Rhett, that girl and the vampire and my favourite  Carrie Bradshaw and Manlo Blahnik,  a love affair that I too am deeply entangled and tortured with.

Beyond my love of shopping and scoring a great deal on a hot buy, what I appreciate the most of my live (not online) shopping experiences is the romance. Just picture the setting like in a fine romance novel.  A modern women walking the streets with a glorious handbag looking in the shop windows until…..like a siren calling her name that “I gotta have item appears” she is entranced with its beautiful shape and color that would complement her skin tone, hug her curves and complement her great score on the shoes she needed to have last week.  She passes on only to sit at work desk for the rest of the afternoon daydreaming about that perfect item in the window and how it would look on her next date with her own Mr. Around Town, she contemplates the investment, is it too much to risk, can this really be “the one” until finally she gives into her longing desire and they are reunited and the women and her purchase walk hand in bag into the sun set.

Is this a little dramatic? …well maybe, but the reality is that consumers still enjoy window shopping, purchase dreaming and all around live shopping.  Retail Romancing starts with atmosphere, setting the mood or the stage for a good shopping experience.  Interesting and unique window displays, inviting and welcoming staff and most of all live personal interaction.  Women especially love this, for generations women have bonded over shopping experiences. A Saturday afternoon out with the girls shopping, the excitement and tears of finding the perfect wedding gown or the hysterical laughter of finding the not so perfect outfit, women have had a love affair with shopping for centuries. Men too have had been known to be captured by the romance; although it usually not on soft goods but with the latest technologies in gadgets and vehicles some men have been known to blush like school boys, especially if it’s at the right price!

Retail romance doesn’t only involve the atmosphere it requires a little effort on the retailers too. Attentive, helpful and knowledgeable staff that can answer customers questions and engage in polite and friendly conversation makes an experience personal for the customer.  A sales associate has taken the place of the friend on many occasions.  Listening to the story of why a new outfit is needed, helping put together that perfect look or just being supportive on the other side of the change room door all builds the shopping experience.  “Retail Therapy” wouldn’t be a coined phrase if some listening wasn’t involved.

What is the point of this article you may wonder?  Its not to bring down on-line shopping sites or shoppers everyone has their preference it’s just a fun reminder of the fun and social aspect of live shopping.  Sure you maybe able to find what you are looking for on-line but “Point”, “Click” and “Checkout” then the wait for delivery doesn’t always fulfill the need for a little romance!

Krista Hauser

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