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Future Buying

I am constantly amazed by the number of people who are predicting our future that have no experience or have spent little time in our industry. I am talking about the speculators, who pontificate about the changes that will take place in the future.

As trainers we are constantly researching and updating statistics for our courses. What we have found is how little the consumer has changed. Certainly online shopping has created the illusion the consumer buying behaviour has changed but is that really the case? An online eCommerce site is a mirror image of a tactile catalogue. After all, how do we think the individual who developed the on-line process figured it out? The buying process remains the same: seek a salesperson/process to trust, get a product presentation, experience the item ideally with a demonstration and complete the transaction in a reasonable period of time. Driving along one day I heard a DJ quote a statistic; ‘two-thirds of us never finalize the shopping-cart process on-line.’ Meaning most of online shoppers never actually buy what they have put in their shopping cart. If we listen the so-called industry experts who espouse: “the retail shopping experience is dying. All consumers want to buy online.” May not be accurate. For some product that maybe the case. For impulse or big-ticket items I do not believe that is ever going to be the case. Quite frankly what does it really matter. As sales people we are an adaptable bunch. If the consumer wants to buy online and our company provides the service than they will do it. What I don’t hear any industry forecaster talking about is how a customer can experience the product before committing to purchase. What I fear is several demonstrator units and ordering items. I fear this because the purchase finalization takes longer allowing buyers to enter remorse sooner and more frequently. What I see as a solution is sufficient/abundant inventory and immediate delivery. Just like jewellery and hi-fidelity audio equipment, that can cost as much as a car, are able to be financed and delivered within the same visit. That is not a change in buyer behaviour, which is out of our control, but a change in seller behaviour which is within our control. As Bill Harvey says, “don’t see what you can sell, sell what you can see.” Fast Proven Results.

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