Local knowledge

Local knowledge and great customer serviceI confess to being a big online shopper. If I can save lot on something I know all about or have bought before it’s click, click boom. Contact lenses? Done. Knives? Bam!

But I’ve been burned and not just on small stuff like Kogan razor blades that look like razor blades but function like a snow plough for shaving cream without harming a hair on your face.

A camera or two that’s not quite right or doesn’t do what you need and you’re wishing you’d been able to ask a human in the first place. So today I did that. Went to my local camera store (Spectrum at Warringah Mall) and had a good retail experience. It started when Michelle (Mikela? – apologies I’m bad with names) very quickly showed she not only knew all about the Canon lenses I was interested but was also was a really good wildlife photographer and had actually used the suckers.

Okay, so did I buy anything? No, not yet. But she made it easy. Not only did she give good advice, she also offered to price match pretty much anything I came up with. That’s a massive step forward. It removes the biggest barrier to purchase right then and there: that you could get it cheaper elsewhere. I prolly could find these lenses cheaper but when you’re talking about a $3K lens, it’s nice to know you can walk in and say “Fix this” if the thing craps-out on you for no reason.

Saving one or two hundred bucks online suddenly seems immaterial. Good advice and a real human interaction where knowledge and opinions are exchanged is a powerful combination. It’s this sort of interaction that we want to foster through Popup Brands. Retail is so very, very far from dead it’s absurd – as the struggle to find a spot for the truck will attest.

This sort of connection is gold. I mightn’t buy a lens but I’ll buy other stuff out of convenience and I’ll go back. And I’l tell people about it.

If you’re online and you want to meet your customers then pop-up. If you’ve got a product you want to launch or popularise then pop-up. You get the drift!