Thursday, June 18, 2009

For Dersha [Sorry it's so late!]

Thoughts on consumer behavior...

I was shopping in Natick with Dersha one day, and we walked into Stuart Weitzman to look for shoes to go with her new formal dress. The saleswoman did not acknowledge that we had entered the store, nor was she very helpful while we were looking around. So I wondered, "is it because we're young? Is it because we're not dressed nicely?" Anyway, she found a pair that she liked, but then we went to Kate Spade which also had a pair that she liked. And the saleswoman there was wayyy friendlier. Unfortunately, the Kate Spades didn't fit Dersha's feet quite right, so we went back to Stuart Weitzman. However, the saleswoman was once again unhelpful and rude. So she seriously considered not buying the shoes that she had picked out earlier. But if you think about it, it's really a lose-lose situation. Because on the one hand, if scrubby looking youths like us are turned off by the salespeople and don't buy things that we would have otherwise bought, the salespeople will assume that it was because we did not intend to buy anything in the first place. And they will continue being mean, bitchy people towards grubby looking youths like us. [reminds me of adverse selection death spirals] However, if we prove them wrong by purchasing expensive items, we are rewarding them with extra commission for their behavior.

So, I told Dersha that I wanted to see if anyone had done a study on how salesperson attitude affects consumer behavior, but I didn't find much. Sorry, D! But I did find this and a paper called Influence of Consumer Age and Clothing Type of Salesperson on
Consumer Satisfaction with Salesperson’s Performance

If stores want our "share of wallet," their salespeople are going to have to be nicer. Also, I've decided that whenever I decide to not buy something because of a rude salesperson, I am going to let them know.

Dersha, I miss you in my life. Come back to the east coast.


  1. Excuse me, but I WAS going to let her know. I'm glad that you would do the same.

  2. OMG so today i went to that daedong shopping center in Seoul (I don't know if this is the right name, but anyway) and I was looking at all the stands/stalls/sections and whenever I looked at any article of clothing, the saleswoman/man would come up and say, please let us know if you want to try anything on OR can i help you with anything, etc. and they would sort of follow us and just stand close to us. i couldn't tell if they really wanted to make a sale or if they were afraid we would steal something.

    POINT? it TOTALLY turned me off. as soon as any salesperson talked to me, i decided i wouldnt buy anything in the store and had to escape IMMEDIATELY. LEAVE ME ALONE, GIVE ME SPACE, i wanted to say, if you want me to buy anything. i can't shop with you all looking at me!

    thats my story.