Don’t Lose the Customer!

Wreath
From Marketing Profs.com’s blog, here’s an interesting article by Jim Kukral.  Last Friday he was attracted to a local store by an ad offering "HALF-OFF WREATHS!".  It was only after he and his wife were in the store that they found out there was "fine print" in the ad.  The half-off offer only applied to a second wreath when the first one was purchased at full price. 

Jim writes, "

There’s a line there that I don’t think many retailers consider. That line is crossed when two things happen to consumers.

1. You try to fool us
2. You’re wasting our time

Both are unforgivable."

He and his wife left without buying anything and he promises to "never, ever" shop there again.

I disagree with Jim’s  conclusion that  "many retailers" don’t consider his two points.  There may be a very few who try to fool customers, but they’re few and far between.  Since I didn’t see the ad in question, it’s possible that the confusion was at least partly his fault.

But, and this is important, the store’s response was terrible.  I’m no expert on Christmas wreaths and have no idea what they sell for, but I’d bet that the margin is somewhere around 50%, probably higher.  It would seem to me that a break-even or low-margin sale would have been a small price to pay to avoid losing a customer forever.

"Black Friday" is a stressful day for shoppers and retailers.  Nerves can get frayed and mistakes do happen.  But, with the competition we all face for the consumers’ dollars, it’s critical that we not send even one customer to our competition when we can avoid it.

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