When you walk into a retail store, nine times out of ten you're greeted by a friendly employee asking, "Can I help you with anything?"
I'm betting that not many of you actually say, "Yes, actually, I'm looking for . . . [a purple spotted giraffe] [three pairs of Crocs] [Joni Mitchell on vinyl]." Personally, I can't recall the last time I actually asked for help in the store. Part of this is because I really hate shopping, so I usually look up what I want on the Internet before I leave the house, so I know exactly what I'm looking for and if I can find it at that store. This is not a reflection on the nice salespeople -- it's just that I want to spend as little time in the store as possible.
Apparently, this is a rising trend among the younger generations. Many stores have even started to release smartphone apps that allow users to browse merchandise while they're in the store.
Nordstrom's, a department store chain known for its outstanding customer service, has embraced the change rather than try to fight it. In addition to a smartphone app, they've added WiFi in almost all of their stores and are testing stations that have iPads and computers, so customers can browse merchandise right in the store and then go find exactly what they want.
What do you think? Do you prefer the face-to-face interaction with salespeople, or would you prefer to use an app in the store to help you locate what you want? Leave it here or over on Facebook!
Special thanks to the New York Times for the article!