Personally, I prefer to stay away from stores and do all my shopping on my smartphone or tablet while reclining on my couch with a pussycat across my chest, watching an old movie on TCM. Sometimes, though, I’m forced into the abyss—I have to go into a store.
On Memorial Day, I found myself in a major home improvement retailer’s garden section looking for pre-made flowerboxes to hang on my deck. I’m not a good finder of things. My motto is: “Ask the lady.” So, rather than pointlessly roam the enormous garden center, I scanned the horizon for a store associate to help me in my quest—and get me out of there and back home as quickly and painlessly as possible. But alas, not a store associate in sight. So I walked around looking for one, which was as pointless as me walking around looking for the flowerboxes. (See the adjacent picture to share my frustration.)
It was then that I was struck by an epiphany. I pulled out my iPhone, searched for Gethsemane Garden Center near my home (more expensive, but smaller and always teeming with store associates), touched the phone number in the Google results, and called. I asked the associate who answered the phone if they had pre-made flowerboxes in-stock and ready to go. She said yes.
I immediately left the home improvement giant’s store, drove to Gethsemane, was in and out in 10 minutes tops, and was back home in no time.
What could have saved the sale for the more affordable home improvement retailer? Mobile technology in-store. In this case, beacons.
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