Feb 5, 2014

QR Codes Help Turn Mall Browsers into Buyers

A friend who is an antique dealer says he likes to visit antiques malls so that he can see how much other dealers are getting for their wares. I pointed out that what he was actually seeing was the prices that dealers weren’t getting, since all the items he would view were unsold. “Yeah,” he replied, “but I consider it market research. I can look around for an hour or so without anyone bothering me or trying to sell me something.”

Such is the world of antique mall retailing. Customers can browse booths without fear of being “sold” anything. They are welcome to buy, of course. But in general, customer service in antique malls is lacking. In an antique mall there is no “show and sell;” there is no “show and tell.” There’s just “display, and hope someone buys.” An antiques mall is staffed primarily to ring up sales and keep the place tidy. If a customer has questions about certain items or wants to haggle over price, a staff member may or may not be able to help them. Of course, there are exceptions, but they are rare. If your antiques mall doesn’t fit this description, I salute you.

I recently spent the better part of a day browsing the antique malls in the town of Berlin, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Berlin is a lovely town, and its quaint setting has served as the backdrop for the feature films Tuck Everlasting and Runaway Bride. The mall booths were well stocked and the prices seemed reasonable for the area. But if a customer wanted a question answered, they had to stand in line at the register to ask it. If there were other employees around, they weren’t obvious to me. Read More...

No comments:

Post a Comment