Shopping for Feelings: How a Bad Mirror Can Teach you Good Marketing

A funny thing happened to me last Spring. I was going shopping for a new coat, but I couldn’t find the one I truly liked. You know the drill? You are looking for something very particular, but it essentially exists only in your own imagination. There is an old Russian movie where the main protagonist is searching for a present for his wife. Finally, he finds a sweater that he thinks she might like, and asks the sales assistant “Have you got the same sweater, but only with pearl buttons?” Every Russian cracks as soon as he hears the joke, because being meticulous is SO common. My search for a coat turned into a 2 years old quest, which lead me to a tiny wholesale store in the dodgiest part of Shadwell , owned by a Turkish guy who looked like he could lock the door any minute, and turn me into his slave. The outcome was surprising even for me. Not only I got back home in one piece, but also brought two lovely wool coats, that after some negotiating cost me £80 for two. Why am I saying all of this? Because shopping experience is very important. We might live in a civilised society, but deep inside we are still hunters, looking for adrenaline, and adventure. If a fashion store manages learn how to integrate this experience into our daily life, the sales will multiply like rabbits…

Man in the Mirror

dressing tableThe best ever experience for a woman is feeling beautiful. And, thus, one of the most crucial things defining whether I will take my basket from the changing room to the cashier is… the changing room itself. There is no such a thing as a bad body. We are all different and attractive in a number of ways. But, there definitely exists bad lighting, or a bad mirror that adds you extra kilos, cellulite, and other unpleasant things that you don’t want to see or know about.  When I enter the fitting room, and close the curtain, I want to look at myself and say “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest of them all?” If I don’t like myself in the mirror, if the lighting highlights all the things I want to hide, there is no way I’m going to buy the clothes.  The first and the key step to improving your sales is getting a good mirror, and installing a nice shade of light that would highlight the benefits and hide the drawbacks.

Off the Hook

Let’s assume the lighting is fine, and the mirror is making you look like a Queen. What’s next? You’re holding a number of hangers, and you still have to take off this heavy coat, and put your own things somewhere. Wait a minute? Where did this mess come from? Why am I standing on my new jeans? Ooops! This size is wrong, but I just cannot bear going through this nightmare again. I think I’m going home. How much does it cost to install a couple of more hooks in the changing room? Certainly not millions! What about disposing the dirty clothes that nobody wants? Small fitting rooms with few places to hang stuff are not only inconvenient and extremely annoying. It’s the number one reason for long queues, and spoiled inventory.

medieval dress

From Couture to Endure

Have you ever thought about why the most elegant boutiques turn into mayhem during sales season? All of these shiny things seemed so attractive a while ago, and you were ready to bite the forbidden fruit, and buy these hazelnut knee highs that match your eye colour. Now it’s just a pile of rubbish, not easily accessible even for someone with very strong elbows… There is a flock of vultures flying in circles around it… You don’t even like it anymore. Reduction in price shouldn’t create an image of reduction in value. Doesn’t matter the sales, your store still has to look sexy. Give your customers an opportunity to feel lucky for finding a bargain. If we want to go to the market, or Charity Shop we can do it at any time of the year… The brand that will succeed in keeping face during sale season, will also keep the cash. $$$

We are not shopping for clothes anymore, we are shopping for feelings. We like to buy things that make us feel good about ourselves. It’s the reason we work 9 to 5 jobs, the ultimate cure for stress, and perfect occasion for going out from our little shell. This is why shopping is so addictive. We want to buy something, and believe it will make our life a little bit better. Make the customer believe he is a super star, make him think that he can conquer the world, and he will be loyal to your brand till the end of times.

Do you agree with the above? Do you know any other things that you’d like to change? Feel free to continue the list in the comments, and share it with your friends. The more people will express their opinion, the sooner business owners will realise their mistakes. It’s a win-to-win. 🙂



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