Destination Shopping while writing my memoirs.
Continuing the research into destination shopping, I visited Tubney Retail Park in Dorset. The retail park itself is a destination shopping centre. There is ample parking easy access for cars, walking and buses. However, I think their target audience is car drivers.
As an aside, and by comparison
IKEA has thought about the customer, the customer journey and envy purchasing. They have their showrooms laid out in a way that invites aspirational living. IKEA has been in the United Kingdom for many years and is incredibly popular. Indeed, in some towns, you queue to enter the shop (pre pandemic).
The three shops I visited today do not appear to have thought about the customer. They are stuck in the same layout as was around in the 1950s. The customer journey and envy purchasing are non-existent.
The first shop I went into was Dunelms. A shop specialising in home furnishings. Like most shops in the United Kingdom, there is a dedicated path through the shop. Items are in order of interest and psychological purchasing. Dunelm’s should look at how IKEA has attracted customers. I was looking for new towels, but I didn’t enjoy my time in the shop, the staff were too busy to talk to me. In short, I felt like I was intruding on their lovely displays. As a result, I bought nothing in this shop. I didn’t have that enjoyable customer experience I was looking for and became frustrated.
The next shop I entered was The Range. I have walked out of this shop before as I dislike the lighting, as it is too oppressive. The lights are dim; it feels dark; the fixtures are so full, you can barely walk around the shop without banging into something. I spent 15 minutes in this shop, and that included going to the loo.
The last shop I visited was Home Bargains, selling cheaper homeware, from food and garden furniture to toiletries. The shop is bright, light and there is plenty of walking space. I have, on previous occasions, spent up to an hour in this shop just looking around. Thinking about the products for sale, could I use them in my home. However, on this occasion, I asked for help from one of the shop assistants. Unfortunately, she had no clue about the products she was selling. My conversation was very abrupt and along the lines of, it’s over there if we have it.
I am not a demanding shopper. However, I work hard for my money, and I want to enjoy spending it. When I purchased a computer a few years ago, I walked into PC World and laid down my expectations. I told the assistant that I wanted to buy a laptop and have an enjoyable experience or go elsewhere. The assistant couldn’t have been nicer. He was attentive, helpful and guided me directly to the Laptop I needed. An enjoyable experience and as a result, I often go back to that shop.
Destination Shopping via a website
As my business is very much an online business, I want a destination website. I went to the website of each business.
Dunelm’s has some images perfectly correct. There are some aspirational images of their products. The beds look luxurious, and you can see yourself asleep in them. Then they look at each item. I am not sure I would look at their website if I weren’t writing this post. However, I would look now.
The website for the Range could appear just as busy as the shop. The top banner is dynamic with loads of clashing images. However, the website is bright and full of information. I am not sure where my eyes fall on the homepage as there is too much to see. The product pages are helpful and bright. I prefer more space with images, but that is very much a personal style issue. Would I visit this website? I am not sure. Maybe for price comparisons.
The final website was for Home Bargains. Like the previous two websites, it was bright, easy to read and navigate. I would not have thought to visit their website in the past. It would never occur to me that Home Bargains would sell online. I don’t know why. Would I revisit this site? Yes, I think I would.
All three shops have a physical presence. All three shops have a website that is also selling their products. Do the shop and website give the same customer feel? Dunelm’s and The Range certainly don’t. It feels as if they are two very distinct businesses (which they could be). Home bargains was a surprise. I visit this shop every week. The website appears to have the same feel as the shop.
My View and my clients
I want my clients to have the same feeling when they meet us in person as when they visit the website. It is going back to getting that personality of the business and website to match. Maybe that is the key to marketing, being coherent? All touches with potential clients have the same feel and personality. Is branding about the ethos of the company and saleable products?
What I learnt about writing my memoirs
- I don’t want to fight a website for information.
- My website and company should have the same message, the same personality.
- Reviewing successful websites and businesses to see what they do well is valuable for the success of your business.