BOSTON (CBS) – As we approach the busy holiday shopping season, many consumers will go online. Cyber sales could grow another 14% this year. Online shopping is a great option, until it doesn’t quite work out as planned.
Some online retailers are taking a cue from old fashioned retailers and changing their approach in hopes of improving customer satisfaction.
Related: How To Get Best Cyber Monday Deals
Eric Schroeder of Watertown shops online but does it without an iPad, laptop, or his living room couch. He frequents Bonobos Guide Shop on Dartmouth Street. Bonobos.com is the online retailer known for men’s pants with a good fit.
Of the guide shop concept, Bonobos Vice President Erin Ersenkal said, “We like to think of it as a physical representation of our website. So you can kind of think of it as an e-commerce store.”
At this small store, they have one of everything. Just one. Customers can feel the clothes, and try them on. They just can’t take them home. A personal attendant, or ‘guide’, walks a shopper through all the options, and then an online order is placed. Shipping is free.
“For some people online is great, and for others an in store personalized experience works best for them. So we’d like to think that we are able to touch upon all the different types of interactions that customers appreciate,” said Ersenkal.
Online shopping continues to grow by double digits, but that’s despite recurring complaints from cyber shoppers.
We asked shoppers at the Cambridgeside Galleria what frustrates them most about shopping online. One woman said she didn’t feel she could get a sense of the quality of the merchandise. Another issue is the inability of trying items on. One shopper said it is a pain to have to make a return.
Those types of frustrations are prompting marquee online brands like Amazon to plan physical stores.
Warby Parker, the site known for fashionable eye glasses, is now open for business on Newbury Street.
Ken Perkins of Retail Metrics in Swampscott said these retailers want to expand their brand my increasing visibility. “It’s a highly competitive environment out there,” he says.
This approach allows e-tailers to provide a new level of customer service without the full expense of a large store and massive amounts of inventory, according to Perkins. “They have to be price competitive. They have to have a differentiated brand product, but it’s an opportunity to really sell them there.”
Eric Schroeder really likes this approach to shopping. “Just to make sure everything looks good in the mirror, fits, and then comes to your door. It’s super easy.”
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