As a consumer, there is nothing more annoying than going into a store to find out that the specific thing that you are looking for is out. This happened to me recently at a Levi’s store. As with most customers of the brand, I know exactly what I wear and in what size. The brand really knows what is going on in terms of customer loyalty because I know of many people that would not think of utilizing any other brand of jeans. Nevertheless, this most recent time that I went into a physical Levi’s store, I was bummed to not get the exact pair of jeans for which I was looking.
It was not the fact that the company was no longer producing the jeans anymore or something like that, rather it was simply as case of error by the store. They seem to have been lacking a stock management system that allowed for them to notice when they were low on stock. This probably would have made me a repeat customer and instead I find myself now to be more willing to just go online and order whatever I need to there. I realize that it is a multifaceted approach by the company and ideally I would be able to support the physical store because it means that there are jobs available for people, but I think that my time is valuable and as a result, I want to make sure that when I go into a store, there is going to be the product for which I am looking. A good way for a company to make sure of that is through inventory tracking software. That software allows for the company to have more control than it otherwise would and I think that is something that will help keep the physical locations afloat.
One of the things that I would be very interested to see is how physical stores are doing against online purchasing. Obviously it is a big fight and one that will not be decided for sometime, but I am curious if a physical store is just constantly losing clients to the online giants. Of course, it is important to be able to try clothes on, so maybe that is one of the few stores that is able to survive, but I am not entirely sure of that. I am utilizing my own experiences and that is it, but I would love for the physical stores to remain a presence. I would say that is especially the case for locally owned physical stores and that is exactly the reason why it is important for them to invest in supply chain management software. It allows for them to be aware of what their coming needs are and communicate those needs down the supply chain without them having to do the physical ordering themselves. It makes a ton of sense for them to get those things ordered as soon as possible and doing so without staff time is key.