Don’t Give Your Customers (Virtual) Cavities this Holiday Season

Halloween has come and gone yet again. It was another night filled with spooks, long walks, messy costumes, and of course, tons of sugary candy! If you’re like the rest of us, you crammed as much sweetness in your mouth you could the first couple of days only to pay for it later. You quickly remember why you don’t look forward to the day AFTER Halloween as your tummy spins in circles.

As this happened to me the other day I started to wonder – could this effect happen to customers? When you eat nothing but candy you’re just ingesting empty calories as there’s nothing particularly healthy about Smarties and those weird black & orange peanut butter candy things. It’s all fun and very little substance.

Could you be offering your customers the same thing? If your store and business is all flash and style but nothing substantial, they may end up with a tummy-ache the size of a giant box of Nerds candy.

Style vs. Substance
You’ve seen the stores online – they’re like virtual “hip” clothing stores where there’s loud music, attractive salesclerks, and a shirt costs more than your last car payment. Once you get home and look at what you bought, you immediately get that familiar rumble in your stomach. What on Earth possessed you to buy this thing?

Well, what possessed you was the flashiness of the establishment. You can easily get caught up in the excitement of it all; the noise, the atmosphere, even the laissez-faire style of customer service can make you think you’re getting something special. But you can’t wear cool out of the store. In the end, it’s just a shirt.

This is the same thing that can happen to your online store if you’re not careful. It’s particularly troublesome during the holiday season, as each ecommerce business wants to get the attention of every person they can. As a result, they end up making their products feel like it’s the most exciting thing in the world.

Of course this is part of selling, and it is essential to raise a ruckus during the winter season as everyone else is struggling to push ahead of you. But there comes a time when you may buy into your own hype and forget what you’re selling isn’t absolutely essential to the universe’s continued existence.

Finding a Balance
Let’s head back to that ultra-hip clothing store we visited earlier. When they first opened up shop, that ambiance wasn’t an accident. They knew it would attract the very people who would get super pumped about buying the very shirt you bought. They most likely didn’t think they were the bee’s knees when they first opened their doors; they were just as terrified as every other new business owner.

Somewhere along the way, things changed, and they bought into their own reputation. The product quality went down, the customer service suffered, and they became a parody of their own PR and marketing tactics.

Take a look at your own store – do you see this happening with you? How far have you drifted away from your core ideals from when you started? It’s usually easy to tell by the reviews by customers that are coming in. Businesses will get negative reviews from time to time, it’s almost inevitable. However, if you’ve been ignoring them for some time and they all have the same complaints, it may be time to see if you’ve just been feeding your customers sugar lately!

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