Michael Bleby Reporter

Michael writes on emerging markets, architecture and engineering. He has served as a correspondent in Tokyo, London and Johannesburg and has written for Reuters, the Financial Times, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

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Wow me now

Published 10 May 2012 05:02

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In the brave new world of online shopping, bricks-and-mortar stores will survive only if they “wow my senses”, retail expert Beverley Chambers says.

“It’s about theatre. About providing a really good experience.

“One of the things that’s going to have to come back is really good service.” The buyer-turned-consultant spells out what she thinks a store needs to have.

“Most Australians seem to have an iPhone,” she says.

“With my iPhone, I should be able to touch in when I go into a store and the store staff should know I’m there. My picture should flash up. It should tell them: ‘This is Beverley. The last time she was here was X. This is what she bought. These are the colours she likes’.

“A staff member should be able to look at their iPhone and then come and say: ‘Hi Beverley, what are you looking for today? I know you like these colours here. We’ve got this new range, can I show it to you? You’re size 10, let me put a few things in the change room for you’.”

“If I can’t carry what I have bought, the staff should say: ‘No problem. We’ll have it delivered to you by the time you get home’. That is where the future of bricks-and-mortar shopping lies.”

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