Retailers really need to start and take note of consumers in this fast changing world of shopping – both online and at the local shops.

I wrote recently about my largest online purchase thus far – furniture from Milan Direct, and it really has got me thinking about the future of retail and how there really needs to be some changes at the store level to keep people coming back.

Interestingly I’ve also come across a great article by Nancy Georges over at our friends at Dynamic Business which really did make a stack of great points, I highly recommend it.

And from time to time you really do experience it first hand don’t you?

This weekend, I needed to find a new dishwasher. As luck would have it, Harvey Norman had a weekend sale on Dishwashers!

So, knowing how important it was, I skipped 2 hours of the Bathurst 1000 and popped over to the nearest home-makers supa centre and got a good look at those Dishwashers.

I knew what I wanted, a European model – Bosch, Miele, Asko etc.  What I found was easily narrowed down to a choice of two Bosch units.  One was around $800, the other more like $1500.

So, I stood.  I looked, I waited.

10 mins later, how many times do you think I was asked if I needed anything?  Not once.

Now, the store was busy – I will grant you that, but isn’t that the problem.  With wages to pay, It’s hard to ‘man’ a store to suit the customer demand.

To be sure, I took a photo of each unit with pricetag and headed over to the Good Guys.

They had the same two units.  Similar prices.  Within 2 minutes, one of the salesmen who had been watching me ‘browse’ approached me and we started talking product.

I was convinced.  And told him to go away and get me his best price.  He came back with over $100 off, and I was sold.  He shook my hand, we did the paperwork, and I walked out lighter in the wallet, but pleased with the experience.

This is not about Harvey Norman – this is about the need to see consumers for more than just a bunch of people in a queue.  I was lucky that one retailer had a salesman ready and waiting to ‘serve’ and that’s really why we go into retail isn’t it? for service? Oh, and for the immediacy they offer.

Perhaps I’m alone though?  Did I do the wrong thing?  Should I have waited more?

Your comments welcome below!