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Shoppers Want to Touch It

By John Malmo


Shoppers Want to Touch It, by John Malmo

Memphis, TN – A few weeks before Christmas, my wife and I were in a nice shopping area of Scottsdale, AZ. In one store, I noticed what looked like an interesting little flashlight that could function also as a lamp. I thought it might be pretty handy in a power outage.

There must have been 30 or 40 of them on the table, but each box was taped-up. I couldn't take one out and look at it, and the picture on the box wasn't adequate to see exactly how it worked. So, after picking up a box, I put it down and followed my wife on to something else.

Later in the day, we were in Restoration Hardware. Lo, and behold, there was that very same light. But instead of being in a box, it was open on a table next to several other kinds of cool-looking, little lighting devices. I picked up that one. Examined it thoroughly. Satisfied, I looked around for ones still in boxes so I could by a couple.

"Sorry," the sales lady said. "We're sold out."

So I bought the demonstrator and didn't even get a box. If you're in retail and you have a new and unusual item, take one out of the package so shoppers can touch, feel, operate it.

John Malmo is a marketing consultant who concentrates on helping business owners grow their businesses with effective marketing. To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or ask him a direct question, go to askmalmo.com.