Zombies and the death of your business

The sad reality is more and more brick and mortar retailers, large and small, will cease to exist as the comfort and ease of online shopping grows leaps and bounds in popularity daily.

Those retailers turning a blind eye to this evolution of how consumers are choosing to shop, will soon enough be turning their open sign to closed – permanently, if they don’t embrace online shopping as a viable addition/option to their businesses.

To those old fashioned retailers that feel consumers will never buy a sofa, clothing, eye glasses, etc online without trying them all prior, you’re dead wrong. I can tell you from personal experience, my wife and I have bought all of the above online without ever stepping foot in a store to see, touch or feel the purchased products.

We are part of a growing consumer base that is tuning out bad service at retail outlets and shopping by mouse in the comfort of our own home. In the past two weeks alone we have encountered less than good service from three independent retailers.  We are very easy to please and wish to do our part, however we won’t be going back to any of those local shops.

There are many factors why online shopping has become such an attractive way to purchase worldly possessions. One factor of course is price. Lower overhead in operating expenses allows profit margins to be significantly different than those of a brick and mortar store.

No doubt about it, price is not everything to everyone. When I was a retailer, I made sure energetic proper staff, superior customer service and very specialized product lines priced at appropriate market value, made pricing objections very uncommon. Customers gladly paid top dollar for products, guided by genuine, personal interactions with knowledgeable staff that were truly into their jobs.

So if it’s not all about price, what else has online shopping got going for it over the total in store touchy, feely experience? Good question, it’s actually what it doesn’t have going for it that is having a very positive effect. It doesn’t have what I will call “Retail Zombies”.

Many consumers including myself will continually fade away the shop local experience if the retailer or business doesn’t offer the genuine customer experience of professional service from its staff.

Enter the “Retail Zombies”. These are the front line clerks or sales people that are literally the walking dead. These people have no business dealing with your limited customer base. They are tuned out, communicate poorly, have a genuine uninterested attitude in what they are doing and are very poor listeners. They have no business in your business.

These “Retail Zombies” are costing you money and may be the complete downfall of your business if you don’t make some changes. The most interesting fact in all of this is, the “Retail Zombies” are your fault. Oh, have I touched a nerve? Good, it’s easy for you to blame not being able to find the right staff on so many different variables. That’s a story you’ve created, it’s a story of personal convenience and mindset. Change your story, change your mindset.

If you have not dedicated the time to ongoing proper training, coaching and mentoring your staff to excellence, you are contributing to the zombie problem and demise of your business.

If you have not handpicked people that are truly excited to work in your personal culture and can’t wait to show it every day, you are contributing to the zombie problem and demise of your business.

If you are paying low wages and solely basing your pay structure on performance, you are part of the zombie problem and demise of your business.

Don’t let “Retail Zombies” be the demise of your dream. I and many others would love to come and shop at many of your stores again – but we won’t, unless you take action.

Remember this; online shopping is “Retail Zombie” free, 24 hours a day.


Questions, comments? Come over to my Retail Evolution Facebook page and start a discussion. https://www.facebook.com/RetailEvolution