How to improve the shopping experience?
How to improve the shopping experience?
You might have guessed it already: I don’t like shopping. So, whenever I have to do it, I am on the lookout for how to improve the shopping experience.
My last shopping venture yielded the following thoughts:
What I like is to go into a shop, tell the assistant what I am looking for, be led to a nice (and spacious) changing cubicle, and then the assistant brings a choice of whatever it is I need. And the shopping assistant is so competent that they pretty much hit the mark without much trying. That’s wonderland for me.
What I don’t like is searching for something I might like which then turns out to look dreadful on me which makes all the searching even more of a waste of time.
So, not having to search would improve my shopping experience a lot.
Now, I know that some people like to search, and others are real experts at it. I remember a friend at university who was always dressed perfectly, and mostly second hand. Seeing her successes, I tried a second hand shop too — and failed. So, how did she do it? She had the patience to search through everything on offer, and a great eye for what fits her. I have neither of these skills. But I wonder, wouldn’t she be happier too if she didn’t have to search patiently?
dot. solves a lot of this via the search filters on the dot.website, and the offer of professional assistance (someone who gets to know you and your preferences). And this kind of assistance could be offered at dot.workshops directly. Like, you don’t have to use the internet, you just drop in, get a thorough analysis of which colours and styles suit you, what you are interested and so on. And from then on, the customer only has to call when they need something new and they drops by the workshop a few days later to see a selection of suitable pieces.
Now, that I think about it, it seems important that dot. also offers a none-digital shopping options. No one should be obliged to use a computer or phone.
Another point. Carrying your purchases. Since I don’t have any kind of good eye for what might look good on me, I tend to end up with up to ten pieces of clothes to carry to the changing cubicles. That’s annoying, and I wonder why the larger clothing retailers haven’t invented something like a mobile clothes rail, maybe with a shelf or two for smaller items or for your bag. That way you can unload yourself when you enter the shop, and you leisurely stroll through the shop and load up your clothes rail. You could even have a cup of coffee at the bar before you try on your potential purchases, clothes rail patiently standing next to.
For dot. this is unlikely to be relevant unless there is an exception to the only-produce-what-is-sold policy and dot. builds a few stores, one for each large city, or so.
This could work if those stores only offer items which have proven to be sales hits. Apart from some special outfits which could become a great hit, this would mostly apply to practical everyday clothes. In fact, I see sustainable socks and underwear as big hits, but also the ordinary T-shirt, maybe with the in-shop option of getting a special print on to the shirt.
And these stores would definitely have an easy to push clothes rail waiting for each customer at the entrance. There could also be some measurement tables and measuring tapes included, and maybe a bottle of water. Anything really that makes the walk through the dot.halls more pleasant. And maybe it would be possible to arrange a transport of all purchases.
Another point. Though it has overlaps with an earlier point. On my last attempt to shop, I noticed again that there is both too much and too little on offer. Or in other words, while there is a lot on offer, there is too little that makes me look twice.
And that’s really one of the crazy things about fashion, it’s not about what someone needs or likes. What you find on offer is something some people cooked up as the fashion must-haves for this season.
For me this is a vote to make individual designs possible via dot. to the extent that a customer can come to a dot.workshop and describe what they would like, and a designer would work those ideas into something wearable.
Another point. Sales. I know there are people who still like it. At least I think so. But I don’t. And I seriously dislike shopkeepers who go on and on about which of their articles are on sale, and who apologise that something I am interested in isn’t. And this is not about me throwing around money. But I don’t want to buy something because it’s cheap or on sale. I want to buy it because I like it and hopefully also need it. If something I like is on sale, great, but I don’t need to know about it beforehand.
This whole sales business has so many negative aspects that dot. won’t offer any special prices or sales seasons. There is the option that a design will become cheaper after reaching a certain number of overall sales, but that point is individual for each piece of clothes, and it is derived from the principle of capping the amount of profit that can be made with a single article. It’s not about flooding the market with cheap stuff by exploiting fellow humans and the environment.
Really, the more I think about it the more the dictate of what should be worn instead of allowing everyone to find their unique way to express who they are or want to be the more fashion seems patronising, short-sighted and silly.
In shops you don’t get what you want, you get what someone else wants to sell to you.
notes for dot.