Just read this article from TechCrunch and the original article from Brisbanetimes, about the owner of Celiac Supplies where she is charging people $5, who comes in to her store and just browsing, even trying out the items and then asking a “number” questions about an item that the shop is selling and not have any intention of buying it.
She posted on her store:
“As of the first of February, this store will be charging people a $5 fee per person for “just looking.”
The $5 fee will be deducted when goods are purchased.
Why has this come about?
There has been high volume of people who use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere. These people are unaware our prices are almost the same as the other stores plus we have products simply not available anywhere else.
This policy is line with many other clothing, shoe and electronic stores who are also facing the same issue.”
Her approach may be crude – to say the least – but what she did makes a lot of sense specially if I’m a shop owner that struggles to make a sale even though I know there are a lot of people who visits my shop, but most of the time “potential” buyers will just treat my shop as a showroom then try-out the items, asks a lot of question about the item then just bolts-out then buy it online or somewhere else.
If this was 20 years ago, this issue may not matter, specially if the items that are being sold have a competitive price, but in todays Internet world, where you can find almost anything that you want to buy online, brick-and-mortar stores and shops’s role are reduced into being a showroom for these online stores, owners needs to think of a way to fight this kind of mentally of buyers. We have to remember shop owners have bills to pay like rents, capital for the items and salary for the employees (if they have any).
It may not affect the Supermalls “yet” but if enough people just treat these malls as giant showroom and then just buy the items online once their sales takes a big hit, then we may soon see similar move or policy from Supermalls probably becoming a “members only” or pay per visit establishment killing the most popular past time of people around the world – Window Shopping. Hopefully not!
Last modified: March 28, 2013