The in-store experience is incredibly important – and being treated like a valued customer can make or break a sale. This really hit home for me while shopping on Black Friday.

As a rule, I never go shopping on Black Friday because of the crazy lines and general intensity, but this year I made an exception, as a large appliance chain store near my hometown was closing its doors and I desperately needed a new a dishwasher at a good price. While I never typically shop at big box stores, I thought I might hit it big with the combination of Black Friday and a closeout sale.

Big Box Disappointment

I walked into the big box store, ready to make a purchase. I knew I needed a new dishwasher, but I needed expert advice. I had questions about the best fit for my condo, the benefits of the various brands and types of dishwashers, and what essential features might be worth a bit of extra money, so I looked at some models and then searched for a store associate…but everyone was busy.

After looking around and trying to catch someone’s eye, I tracked someone down and asked for help finding a good option for my home. I explained what I was looking for and what I needed assistance with – instead of the advice I was looking for, the sales associate could not offer any product education or feature differentiation… or really any brainstorming to help understand my needs and find the right fit.

Finally, after feeling like I was an imposition, I left the store frustrated – and without purchasing a dishwasher.

Local Store Experience, Expertise, and a Brand New Dishwasher

So the next day, on Small Business Saturday, I decided to go to my tried and true local appliance store that I have always had success with – Yale Appliance. I remember going there with my mom when I was little, and have continued to shop there over the years. Upon walking in, I was greeted with a big smile, an immediate offer to help, and also with the scent of freshly baked cookies (a tradition in their store).

The store associate was very knowledgeable, walked me through prices, the value-adds of various features, and much more. I ended up making an informed decision, and I made my purchase right there on the spot. Although I spent more than I would have with a big box Black Friday deal, I was happier, more confident in my purchase, and maybe most importantly, incredibly relieved that I can confidently say my dishes will be sparkly clean.

This experience perfectly summed up why I believe in shopping locally – not only are you supporting your local businesses, but you truly receive a better experience with retailers who have the knowledge to help you find the perfect product for you and make sure you have a wonderful experience and want to come again. It’s the small, everyday things like this that make me appreciate independent retailers. They care about their customers and will spend the time to make sure they provide a better, more personal shopping experience than big box stores.

When it comes to a big purchase for my home, I won’t consider big box again. I value the positive experience over saving a bit of money – to me, that’s worth it. 

Check out some of the small businesses the Promoboxx team likes to visit and make sure to shop small first this holiday season!

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Categories: Retail Marketing News

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