I have just been chatting to a friend and she is all excited because tomorrow she is going out to buy a new dress. There are not many benefits of me being in Dubai and her in the Ukraine but for once in our relationship I am pleased that I will not with her. Because as a general rule men hate shopping while women live for it.
Now in my business career I have been an expert in decision-making – the processes and the activities required – and yet still shopping with women befuddles me. Men do not understand the wandering around, the random trying on, the mind changing and the miles walked. We tend to know exactly what we are going to buy and where it is and how we can back home in time to watch the football.
Well I have come up with an idea which I think makes the experience better for both men and women. So here is my hypothesis based on many years following dutifully one step behind.
Ladies I can hear your cries of anger already but hear me through to the end. The first part of the shopping experience in unchanged. You choose, you try on and buy and yes the credit card will be charged. But this is when it changes.
The store will take a picture of you in the outfit against any background you like (the shop will have every setting you want from premiers, the best restaurants to outdoors and picnics). And finally you will be able to leave the shop with the clothes of your choice in their carefully branded and easily recognisable bag. Head off to Starbucks or where ever with your friends and leave the bag with your new stunning dress in the middle of the floor for all to see and admire. You can even share the new photographs to the envy of your girl friends.
You have bought and you have owned it (you have the pictures to prove it).
Now here is the clever part. If you go back to the shop on the same day you can now hand it all back and get a substantial refund on your card.
Does that meet all your needs ladies? You have had the shopping experience but you don’t have the cost. You can buy but not own.
And what is more you don’t need your man to follow you complaining about the cost or saying ‘surely you don’t need another pair of red shoes?’ Now I am one of those special men who know that the heels are all different heights and the straps more or less formal and the red is not quite the same as all the other 5 pairs!! But i think I am unique.
So what do we think? Is this capturing the essence of the shopping experience?