2.24.2014

Are Your Customers Looking for a Product or an Experience?

Imagine walking into two different department stores to purchase a pair of shoes, and discovering that they're sold at different prices. Which one would you choose? The obvious answer would be the cheaper pair, but I'll give you a bit more context that might sway your answer in the opposite direction.

Scenario 1
In store 1, the boxes are stacked in the middle of the floor and grouped by size. Apart from the cashier, there are no sales associates on the shop floor, so all customers are expected to select shoes on their own and proceed to the register to pay and complete the transaction. The shoes are sold for $75 in this store.

Scenario 2
In store 2, shoes samples are arranged in display stands throughout the store, with request buttons dispersed at intervals to enable you to call for assistance. The sales associates are able to assist with sizing, make suggestions on purchases and also places orders for sizes and/or colors that are of stock (these orders can be shipped directly to your home). The shoes are sold for $100 in this store.

Now which pair would you buy? While some of you would stick with the cheaper alternative, others might change their minds and opt to pay the higher price. The key differentiator here is that while some people are only interested in purchasing a product, others are interested in the entire sales experience.

As a business owner it is important to figure out which category your customers belong to, and adjust your marketing and pricing strategies accordingly.  Do you know what matters to your customers?


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