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Let your promoter seal the deal

Published: 27. januari 2016

When I go shopping in any of the many shopping malls in Malaysia or Singapore I often end up in a department store glancing at men’s apparel, accessories or fragrances.

It’s nice to just stroll around looking, touching and smelling all these items that I may not really need but still may consider buying. This spur of-the-moment or impulse purchase is something retailers depend on for their sales. They’ll spend huge amounts on marketing messages that are targeted at my emotions or feelings that prompt me to purchase – here and now.

After all, many of us derive an enormous amount of pleasure from impulse shopping for something to treat ourselves.

Quite often a promoter for a specific brand will come up to me to offer assistance. Since they focus on only their products, they are particularly knowledgeable, helpful and service-oriented. So now I’m being well taken care of by someone who wants to understand my needs and suggests and recommends the products I should get. If I like the customer service I may end up with more articles in my shopping basket than intended.

But now something happens that I don’t like: This promoter sends me off to checkout where there may be a queue of other shoppers. The promoter simply leaves me there to be taken care by a cashier. The promotor doesn’t handle payments.

This breaks the spell between me and the promotor. I feel abandoned by the person who helped me make the purchase decision. Also, because of the queue I have time to think about what’s in my basket. Perhaps I don’t really have time to wait for my turn? Perhaps I don’t need these items right now. Sure, nice to have but not must-haves.

Maybe I’ll just leave the basket and head for the exit? I have done exactly this a few times. I’ve also spoken to several friends to confirm that they’ve also done it.

Why not let the promoter handle the customer – all the way from advice to payment? With a closed cash management solution the department store could have a shared checkout for promoters. That’s where the customer-oriented promotor should have taken me. It would become a kind of VIP checkout lane for people that buy the promoted items. That would have had me leave the store with a great shopping experience still in my head – and the promoted items in my bag.