On June 7th, 2014, I bought two water filters for my refrigerator at Sears. To buy two items, I figure a couple of scans, swipe the credit card, sign the receipt/pin pad, and walk away.
What actually happened was far different. The sales person helped me find the proper filters, and we went to the register, which he promptly ignored. Instead, he picked up a tablet and started running an app. He asked for my home number and began tapping away. A few minutes into the transaction, he announced that I had bonus money that I could reduce my total by. Of course, I agreed. More tapping on the tablet.
Eventually, I handed over my credit card and signed the tablet with my finger. At the register, the salesman hit a key sequence like Alt-F6 and the receipt printer spewed forth a receipt and offers.
In the picture below, you’ll see everything in the bag: two filters and feet of receipt paper.
It took Sears over a foot of receipt paper to sale me two items. And, it took another foot-plus of receipt paper to upsell me. Further, this transaction took around 5 minutes!
Luckily for me, I wasn’t in a hurry, but at this point, this is far too long to checkout. Most customers lead far too busy lives to spend this amount time to buy a couple of items.
I’m certain that some genius at Sears headquarters believed that all of this functionality and flexibility would solve all of their retail problems. Well, the app is slow; the customer experience is awful.
When Sears goes bankrupt or is bought out, it won’t surprise me in the least.
I’m interested in many things, from Mars to space travel, music to books, movies to creating my own stories. My sci-fi novel, The Music of Mars, is available now.