INSIGHTSThe Disconnect in Retail

The Disconnect in Retail

By Human After All Oct 2, 2023

When Brand Visibility Undermines In-Store Experience and Loyalty.


True Story:
Yesterday, as I ventured into a renowned electronic store, I needed the product urgently, hoping for an uncomplicated purchase. I wanted an external hard drive and proceeded to the counter with the display box upon finding the desired model, expecting a straightforward checkout.
To my surprise, after a 10-minute wait, I learned that the product was not only out of stock but had been discontinued altogether. Investigating further about the rationale for showcasing a defunct product, the response was illuminating: brands were financially incentivizing the store to maintain these items on the shelves.
This experience highlights a significant misalignment in retail strategy: the divergence between brand visibility aims and genuine customer experience. While brands might benefit from persistent shelf presence, the in-store experience is significantly tarnished when customers cannot access their chosen products.
In a digitalized world where consumers have the world at their fingertips, in-store experiences become crucial. They are a brand’s opportunity to foster trust and loyalty and ensure the tangibility of products complements the online narrative. Yet, by presenting outdated or unattainable items, retailers aren’t merely disturbing customers but compromising the foundation of in-store loyalty. And loyalty in general, why should I trust a retailer with such practice, I go there for their expertise and I get discontinued items.
To ALL retailers adopting similar strategies, a plea: let’s prioritize the sanctity of the customer journey. In today’s cut-throat market, a stellar customer experience isn’t a mere luxury; it’s quintessential. Exhibiting obsolete products, particularly in the face of superior alternatives, is a blatant disservice.
In championing retail strategies, let brand visibility and an authentic, rewarding in-store experience be two sides, fostering true loyalty and mutual benefit.

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