Tri Tang of Orange County was holding up his Smart Phone to do some comparison shopping in real-time. Faster chip speed (compressing more data into less space), improved supply chain and lean manufacturing from world’s Super Factory in our post-recession era gave birth to Super Shoppers.
I went out to buy a car yesterday (I did my part). As a consumer, I found old media (classified ads for loss leaders and radio commercials) irrelevant. With Autocheck, Autotrader, Carfax and Carmax (super store), shoppers are now more informed than the sales person whose answer is “let me check and call you back”.
Super shoppers ask questions not to seek information. They ask for a confirmed response. Stores and “associates” will have to do some acrobatic like Cirque du Soleil‘s to survive.
Super shopping pits not only brick-and-mortar stores against each other (Target vs Wal-Mart), channel vs direct (Apple stores vs Apple web site) but also online vs online (Amazon vs Overstock.com).
No wonder Best Buy is under pricing pressure, which not long ago, took down Circuit City.
Female super shoppers, a majority of whom are now heads of household, shop for electronics and cars (once alpha males’ domain). Stores like Carmax milk these customers’ life time value by improving “impressive first impressions” and rely on economy of scale.
Disney staying power testifies to shopper’s early imprints. Randy in the Last Lecture referred to his childhood visit to Disney World in one of his chapters.
Super shoppers not only shop for price but also for convenience, quality and a positive shopping experience. The only thing left to worry about is “how to lug around an Ipad”. Tri Tang in our story didn’t carry an Ipad. He wielded around his smart phone inside the store, locating signal strength, looking for the best deal.
Truth in advertising has been around for a while. But the mechanism to enforce it has just arrived in the hand of the Super Shopper near you.