When you go shopping, do you expect to have all of your digital data collected via facial recognition, retina scan or have your geo-location constantly pinging from your cell phone? Do terms like Omni-channel marketing, customer relationship management software (CRM), and customer centricity give you a warm, fuzzy feeling?
When you walk into a store would you like them to know when you were last there, what you bought, how much you spent, and how much time you were in their shop?
Maybe you’re more comfortable checking out at an auto-attendant kiosk knowing that the employees were not replaced by machines but “released from onerous tasks as we undergo a digital transformation.”
From what we’ve seen in retail trade magazines and journals, all of the above terms and jargon are already in place or expected in the very near future. In the age of e-commerce, big-box stores and on-line giants have pivoted to constant data mining to access as much of your personal information as they can – because, um, you want that?
Don’t get me wrong, of course we understand the convenience of online shopping– we’re just simply perplexed by the invasiveness of it all.
We’re used to customers coming into a store to actually see, pick up and touch the merchandise as opposed to hoping it looks and works like it does on a small screen. There’s a very strong possibility that– let’s say somewhere like Vidler’s, a guest will be greeted by a friendly employee who won’t badger them with sales pitches. If you need advice on a particular item, they will love to assist you. And if we don’t have what you’re looking for, you can bet that we’ll give you the name of another local shop that does. When they’re not helping you navigate our incredibly large store front, those same employees are also happy to give recommendations on restaurants and other local attractions while you’re in town.
Shopping at Vidler’s is the way it used to be – and still is! We’re not complete luddites when it comes to technology, but after 3 generations in business we know the true power of the Vidler’s shopper experience. We’d like to know how your children or grandchildren are doing, not what they searched on Google ten minutes ago. It’s Western New York, so let’s talk about the latest local restaurant, the weather, or the Bills and Sabres!
We’ll let somebody else collect your data and inundate you with email and text messages. We just want to treat you like our Grandfather did when he first opened up:
“We will enjoy serving our customers as friends and neighbors, rather than mere patrons, and will extend little personal attention and services which shoppers have a right to expect.”
That approach to customer service has stood the test of time for 90 years, and is just as important today as it was in 1930. Though we still might post a funny YouTube video or email you about the latest shipment of yodeling pickles!