Hi! I bet you click on my post because you want to understand how consumers think before they make that major move to queue at the cashier to make payment. Or probably you are just interested to know what I’m thinking before i make my way to the cashier. Either way, i am going to present some reasons why your customers are not buying as much as they ought to be. I am definitely not some professional market researcher who did months or years of research before writing this, but am just a 25 year old shopaholic who have almost 20 years of shopping experience (i guess it is good enough?). I am writing this down because i tend to experience all these situations (which market research will not tell you) that often led me to walk out of the store empty handed. I can be one of the most ‘unwilling-to-checkout’ customer around and stores rarely get to earn my money. But why? Have you ever wondered why your items are not moving as quickly as you thought they should be? Sometimes the problem is not about the products, but EVERYTHING ELSE! And I’m going to tell you why…….
Long queue at the cashier
Yes that is a major turn off. Have you ever wanted to buy that pretty necklace or just a pen but decided to put it back after looking at the queue? Yes i have done that many times. I just don’t understand why wouldn’t they open up more cashier when they see a long queue. Isn’t receiving payment the most important step of a retail store?
Just too lazy to pay for 1 item
Well, let me explain that. When i enter a store and have the urge to spend money there, but only to realise that i couldn’t find more than 1 item that i want to pay for, i would just simply put the item back and hope that it will still be around the next time i go back for other item. It is just laziness taking over. I don’t know why but it do happen to me quite a lot.
It is a WANT, not a NEED
Guilt is taking over in this case. Of course, there are many items that are reasonably priced and look like something that i would absolutely NEED in my house, but seriously, i really don’t need them. The thought of spending that $10 on a unicorn pen that looks too adorable to say NO, but still totally unnecessary (when i can get a pen at $1) often put me in a difficult position. This is the time where i will randomly stroll around the store to consider the pros and cons of buying it (e.g. I could use that $10 to buy 10 soft cone from McDonalds, isn’t it so much more worth it than buying that unicorn pen?), often ending up returning the item back to the original place and walk out of the store empty handed.
No available cash in the wallet
I don’t usually keep a lot of cash in my wallet, in fact, i only withdraw $20 from the ATM each time so i would not overspend. I have the perfect example to describe this. Last Friday, i was shopping at H&M where i saw this adorable necklace which is priced at $2.90 (like OMG it is so cheap!), and without any hesitation i proceeded to the cashier, only to realise that i have $0 in my wallet (except for a mere $0.50 coin). It is way too embarrassing to use NETS or credit card to pay for it (i don’t think it is possible anyway). Thus, i headed out of the store empty handed again.
Sizes are out of stock
I really don’t get this, why are sizes S or M always sold out for the great looking pieces? Didn’t the purchasing team do up a graph or evaluation of any sort to know that they need to order more of sizes S & M for their clothing? Does the purchasing team ever realise that sizes XS,L or XL or usually the ones left hanging at the discount section? I bet the sales would be so much better if majority of the clothing were not out of stock.
Long queue at the changing room
This is another major turn off. Whenever there is a visibly long queue at the changing room, i will most likely end up exiting the store without any purchases. And it is not difficult to know why. Because queueing up for changing room really do waste a lot of time (time needed to go to another store or to have a coffee break etc during a shopping trip). Risky purchases made without trying on the clothing is really not advisable. Thus, there goes your customers.
Store is too crowded
When there are too many people in the store, it is just undesirable to go in. The idea of playing fastest fingers with other customers (aka grabbing the clothes of my size) does not appeal to me at all. Just imagine how long the queue for the changing room would be.
Being intimidated by the store assistant
It’s been too many times. They either stand at the door and stare at you, or they simply follow you around the store (wherever you go). It is really uncomfortable to know that someone is constantly eyeing you and looking at every move you make. It just makes my movement become so unnatural. There are also some store assistant who don’t even acknowledge your existence at all and it is simply too rude to make me want to spend at the store. I guess store assistants really need to find that balance between being too cold or too hot to the customers.
Music is too loud
Why is it necessary to have the music blasting in the store? I would have thought that i entered a club if i were to walk in with my eyes closed. The best way to get out of that situation is not to enter the store at all. Which means $0 sales earned.
Items are just too messy
Just the thought of having clothes all cramped up and stuck together on the rack turns me off instantly. It takes great effort to dig out something from that mess and just makes the whole shopping experience turns bad. It destroys the image of the store and most probably get lesser sales in return as well.
There are better deals online
With the advancement of technology, customers could just look up at the exact same items online at their fingertips. It is not hard to know why more customers are checking out on online stores instead. With many having ongoing discount and coupon code available, it may be cheaper to buy clothing online (with other merchant).
Not enough mirrors
Mirrors are needed to allow customers to have a ‘summary’ of how the piece of clothing or accessories will look on their body. The lack of mirror would only led to an increase frustration (the customer will need to carry that piece of clothing and walk to the other end of the store for the mirror only to walk back so that she can choose her size). Many stores are replacing the space of mirrors for more product placement, but there is an adverse effect to it. The lack of mirror also means that all the customers would have to queue or fight for a spot in front of the mirror.
Unreachable product placement
It is interesting as to why some stores would put their items high up (where no one who is below 180cm could reach) in the store. Is it mean for giants to purchase? Well, this just makes it more difficult for customers to purchase or try them (if that is what they want).
Brought the wrong size into the changing room
I have underestimated my clothing size too many times, but too shy (or too naked) to walk all the way to the front (and the thought of facing the whole line of people in the queue) to ask for any assistance. Thus, i would usually just buy other that fit. Potential lost of sales again.
Bringing boyfriend out for a shopping trip is such a hassle! They would constantly hasten you (while you are trying on clothes) and make you expedite the whole buying process. Thus, you will miss out on chances of checking out some items in the store. I guess they should have a ‘Heineken’ section to babysit them while we take our time to enjoy the shopping process.
There you go. These are some of the reasons why i don’t checkout at the store (other than the product being too expensive). Many store owners would have missed out on these points when they are doing their evaluation, but these points really do play a major role in the buying process. Although the price and quality of the product matters too, the experience of being in the physical store could potentially affect a person on a psychological scale (into buying or not buying) and it should not be taken lightly if you want to increase your monthly revenue.
From an opinionated shopaholic