how to improve retail therapy—apply systems thinking

there I am, in the checkout line waiting for my turn and suddenly I hear in the row next to me, someone speaking in a less than ideal tone of voice

it seemed like they were returning an item and the checkout line was slow to move

I waited a minute or so

then I calculated that the roi on not completing this purchase is actually higher than waiting

in retro, I think if retail stores apply some good old systems thinking and separate concerns within the retail space

thing will improve a lot, there is natural precedence for this

this is how rivers branch out into streams

this is how ants form trains

this is how branches on a tree grow

customers in a retail space will also branch out based on the nature of exchange

you just have to create the right pathways for them

pathway 1, customers buying should be directed to a specialised buying counter, as there always is 1 in retail stores

pathway 2, customers exchanging items should be directed to another specialised counter

pathway 3, customers returning items should be directed to another specialised counter

when a customer enters the shop, the person greeting them should be instructed in finding out their cohort and sending them their merry way, path, way

for the customers returning product, experience will be further enhanced by presenting them with something complimentary

with no strings attached, *after* issuing them a full refund, so they do not feel obliged to shop more

perhaps a gift voucher worth 20% of their initial purchase, of course not to the same customer twice

be separating the system streams into 3 distinct functions

decision fatigue reduction will compound for employees, for customers and for other stakeholders

Author: Usman Gondal

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