Hey Local Retail Stores, Update Your Website

Posted by Kirby Turner on February 4, 2015

I bought a new Burton snowboard the other day. I ordered it online from a mom and pop shop in the Oregon. I wanted to buy locally here in Stowe but the price I paid was 10% cheaper than the price listed on the websites of local shops. Combined with the fact that I didn’t have to pay sales tax and shipping was free, I felt I was getting a great deal. Still, I would have preferred to support a local shop here in Vermont, but at least I supported a local shop in Oregon.

All good, right? Well…

My wife stopped by one of the local Stowe shops today to buy a pair of new skis. Turns out the shop has a sale going on…20% off all Burton boards! Turns out if I had bought my new board locally I would have saved more money than buying online. Plus I would have my board now instead of waiting until next week.

So why didn’t I buy locally given that the sale is going on? It’s because I didn’t know about the sale. Being the type of person I am, I check online before going into brick and mortar stores, and I checked the websites of the local Stowe shops before looking elsewhere. But the shop having the awesome sale did not advise the sale on their website. And because they didn’t advise the sale I ended up taking my business elsewhere.

What could this store have done to win my business? They could have shown the sale price on their website. And if they didn’t want to offer the sale price for online orders, then they could have advised the sale on the front page of their website. Something as simple as “20% Off All Snowboards” for in-store purchases only would have brought me into the store two days ago. And since they have the snowboard I want in stock, it would have been an easy sell. I would have been in and out of the store in under 10 minutes, and they would have a few hundred more dollars in the cash register.

Still, I’m happy with my purchase. With my online purchase I was able to support a locally owned, small business…granted in Oregon instead of Vermont, but that’s still better than buying from a big corporate retail chain. And while I spent more money with my online order, it was only $32 more than I would have paid locally when you add sales tax. So I didn’t lose out too much. The Stowe shop, and the state of Vermont for that matter, lost out more than I did and all because the shop didn’t update their website.

Posted in rant. Tagged in snowboarding, stowe, web.

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