Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Those silly retailers (2nd verse)

"Peace begins with a smile." - Mother Teresa

"Mini-blog challenge: 5 things that bring me peace..." - Cricket Walker

What brings me peace?  Several things:

  • Heide's smile when I get home from work
  • A calm pond with forest reflecting from the other side
  • A good book
  • Yuki the Therapuppy Chihuahua curling up with me in bed or on the couch
  • A hot cup of tea or a cold martini

Oh, and finding another indication that I'm right on a matter on which I've taken a stand.

Remember several days ago when I posted about "those silly booksellers"?  The post where I lambasted Barnes & Noble and other physical bookstores because they're so busy whining about how difficult Amazon has made their business model that they're not paying attention to their business models? 

I saw this today:

It caught my eye immediately because we just bought a laptop from Best Buy, and paid the extra money for the Geek Squad service over the next couple of years.  As long as they stay in business, it's worth it to me, but if the prediction made in the article comes to pass I might have wasted my money.  Sadly, I have no reason to doubt the prediction, since it's based on the same reasoning I used earlier.

"But this is hardly customer service. It’s actually getting in the way of a customer who’s trying to self-service because there’s no one around who can answer a basic question about the store’s confusing layout. It’s anti-service." 

More to the point:

"Best Buy and other traditional retailers complain that Amazon can undercut them in prices because the site doesn’t charge sales tax, and that Amazon customers use Best Buy as their showroom, taking advantage of the extensive, well-stocked locations and knowledgeable staff to research products they actually buy from someone else online.

Online competitors are certainly part of Best Buy’s problem, but not for the reasons it thinks. What’s really going on is more basic. Best Buy just doesn’t understand its customers’ point of view."

Deja vu?

Jesus Christ, folks.  There may come a day when everybody would prefer to link into an Internet terminal and order whatever they need, but that day isn't today by any stretch of the imagination.  I, for one, still like to shop, feel, look, and purchase in person, and I'm sure I'm not alone.  The world could still belong to the brick and mortar institution, if not on the same scale as ten years ago.  But it's not about selling stuff.  Best Buy, according to the article, says "let's sell electronics the way we think they should be sold," just as Barnes & Noble says "let's sell books the way we think they should be sold."  Then they complain because Amazon says "let's give the customers what they are looking for in a buying experience." 

I doubt anyone from Barnes & Noble read my blog post several days ago.  The article I linked above, though, was in Forbes.com.  I can't help but wonder what an executive from Best Buy thought when he read it. 

Another, related online tidbit I found today:
Can't help but wonder how many of the retailers listed wouldn't be on there if they'd paid attention to what their customer wanted.

On that note, time to go back to hopefully writing what my readers want to read. 


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