Lines. Out of control.
Yesterday I had to go to Micro Center to get an external hard drive to archive some of my old Windows stuff. There were exactly two cashiers, and probably 25 people in line. There were some other employees milling around aimlessly. I told one of them they needed more cashiers. He said he would try to find a manager, and promptly went back to milling around.
Today, I needed a magazine. So I went to Barnes & Noble. There was exactly one cashier. And he soon stopped taking customers while he waited for someone, who was undoubtedly busy goofing off somewhere, to bring a cash drop. You know, change for those 20 or so people who were waiting in line. To give Barnes & Noble some money.
I don’t have many rules. But one of them is this: if someone wants to give you their money, do not make it hard for them. Make it easy, so maybe they’ll give you more later. Long lines and empty cashier stations is a recipe for going out of business.
Bricks & mortar stores have forgotten the most important rule of all. Make the customer experience a positive one. So customers will be conditioned to come back.
When I buy something from Amazon, it shows up at my door two days later. Movies, music and software are instantly downloaded.
Hard drives from Micro Center and magazines from Barnes & Noble? An exercise in needless frustration.
All of which leads to this…
Show me someone who prefers to buy things at a store that can be easily purchased online, and I’ll show you someone who either has a lot of free time to kill or is a very inefficient liver.
It’s up to the bricks & mortar stores to change this. I’m not holding my breath, or waiting in lines I can easily avoid.
Mars Edit Update: I just couldn’t handle it. I’m back to using the native WordPress editor, which also sucks. Never has a market been any more ripe for the taking than the Mac blog editor space.