Even today, with all the Internet offers, shopping is often purchasing a product without first-hand experience with it. Our customer research has proven time and time again that if the product can be handled – it’s more likely to be sold.
Until now, it was nearly impossible for customers to actually try out a product without purchasing it and returning it.
The Washington Post recently published In-Store Testing, an article about Maytag, Best Buy, Whirlpool
As part of a new program, the company is encouraging consumers to test-drive appliances before buying them. Shoppers can throw in a load of laundry, wash dirty dishes and bake their favorite dinners. There’s even a package of cookie dough on hand in case people forget to bring their own
And [Raymond R.] Burke, the Indiana professor [University’s Kelley School of Business] , warns that mock rooms take up valuable retail space in a store. “There are serious costs associated with it,” he said.
Yes, formatting stores and products to support use requires a shift from an inventory-focused mentality to a customer-focused mentality. Products that can’t be seen, touched, and experienced cannot be sold. If you use your products as a way to facilitate a conversation with your customers, they’ll be more committed to you.
…estimates sales in the larger, interactive store are twice those of the older one. The biggest difference, he said, is how many appliances consumers buy. “Instead of buying one range, they buy the range and the refrigerator, and maybe the dishwasher, because they see how it works together,” he said.