The shopping experience – how to get it right…Lombok style

lombok 1 Too many studies to mention highlight the importance to retail customers of the shopping experience. But sometimes you get a fresh perspective on it.

Recently I holidayed in Lombok with my family. One day we passed by a very basic thatched building in front of which sat an old lady operating a hand loom,  making textiles. We paused for a moment and she beamed at us, waving us over. Before we knew it she had my wife sitting at her loom, laughing as she was shown how to operate the timeless piece of equipmen t. The lady explained how painstaking the process was, and as my wife clumsily discovered it took great skill and patience to just send a single piece of wool through the apparatus; we couldn’t imagine creating a large piece of fabric, especially when the old lady explained that a meter took several days.

And yet, when she beckoned us inside there were shelves and shelves of hand made fabric in every colour, made into all sorts of clothing. Our new understanding of just what it took to create it made us see it through new eyes. My daughter, aged 13, was particularly taken with the colours and soon she was being helped into a full outfit. Once bedecked in her finery the lady has us in stitches explaining that she’d just dressed my daughter in a wedding dress!

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Long story short: we learned about the product in a highly engaging way that made us value it, we got great, friendly service, and – yes – we ended up making a purchase. Did we pay more than we should have? We didn’t know, and we didn’t care, we had a great time and we WANTED this retailer to have some of our money.

Now that’s how retail experience works!