It’s All Digital From Here

June 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

The other day I walked into an electronics store, and was met by a crowd of employees who appeared to be standing in a circle, bored out of their wits.

That moment when I walked in, like a buch of hornets from a kicked nest, they eagerly swarmed my way.

I had stopped by the store to pick up a few small things- an HDMI cable and an iPod charger that had been misplaced between Boston, Austin, and back. And while I felt fortunate to be waited on so eagerly, something struck me as odd.

In the entire superstore, there were no more than three individuals shopping. And then I realized that I was not being swarmed to because I was special (read: loved), but rather because there was nobody else in need of assistance.

“Best Buy, this relationship is over!”

in fact, as I mentioned, there was nearly anyone there. At all.

You have probably heard this before- that digital stores have essentially slammed physical stores into a mud pile and then rolled their faces around in it, but it is the kind of thing that doesn’t entirely strike you until you have been the only one in a vacant, formerly booming electronics store.

“huh” I thought to myself, “this place used to be the mecca of all things digital. What happened?” I wondered until the store associate handed me the cables I needed; a grand total of $80. My heart stopped, and I knew I had my answer.

$80 for two wires.

I pulled out my phone and bought the two cords I needed for a grand total of $8 as one of the associates suspiciously eyed me.

Melanie, 1; Electronics store, 0.

And yet one thing has shocked me ever since I left that store- digital shopping is indeed becoming the end-all-be-all, not because it is oh so much better than trekking out to the store, but because the stores simply are not adapting. It’s like that movie Hannah, where she is told to adapt or die. These superstores, apparently, are seriously considering the “die” option.

I for one know that I love to go out and physically see an object before I buy it, which is the magic of brick-and-mortar, but not in this world am I going to pay $80 to watch associates twiddle their thumbs awkwardly as I shop.

And yet stores like these have such a huge advantage over their competitors, which they are taking for granted like no other. Does Amazon have a staff of bright, technology-literate employees to wait on you hand and foot? No. Are they located by a scenic lake where the sun shines?

Nope- they are located by scenic 4chan, where the trolls live.

So what’s the problem? What we are left with is price, something which could essentially be compensated by one thing- their ability to sell themselves in the light of online shopping, where things are cheap and scams are rampant.

Electronics stores right now are dying out- by choice. They have physical locations, and yet they choose to not use them to their advantage, or even aknowledge the existence of their online competition.

“What’s this ‘Amazon’ you speak of?”

My suggestion? Drag those price trolls out from their caves and show them what electronics superstores are made of.  Price wisely, and, especially- get this; aknowledge Amazon, and then its weaknesses, in-store.

We have trained staff who not only know the products, but use them themselves- what about you, Amazon?

We can tailor your products to you- get to know you as a person, learn what drives you and help you live to potential with our help and products- that’s a bit tough to beat, huh Amazon?

Oh, and we are really here for you. After you buy your product, we will care for it like our first-born child. We will help you raise it to your standards and show you how to use this gorgeous product, and we will even take it upon ourselves to fix it and keep you on the edge of updates and technology. Amazon, you should probably be crying in a corner right about now.

Electronics stores, get yourselves together, and get your iPhone torch apps ready. It’s time to storm some internet troll caves!

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