I am an online shopper. However during the holidays I often become a catalogue browser. It's easy to do; retailers must cut down entire forests to create the myriad of catalogues we receive during the last quarter of the year.
I'll flip through the pages and enjoy the pictures while eating a meal and often will fold over the pages that contain something I might like to purchase as a gift.
However, I revert to type and go online to make my purchase.
Except for shoes.
I have to admit, I love shoes. As a middle aged woman in constant battle with my weight the one thing that always fits are my shoes. However, some shoes fit differently and I've always believed that I needed to shop for shoes in person. You know, the old try them on and walk around the department to see if they slip off your heel? Balance this way and that in front of the miniature mirror on the floor to see just how they look with my ever expanding ankles.
I love those floor mirrors. You can't see your whole body and I can get away with trying on shoes much too young for me when I can't see how ridiculous they look with the rest of my middle aged self.
Catalogue shoes have always tempted me with their slick pictures and clever fabric choices and affordable prices but the thought of receiving a shipment of shoes that must be returned has stopped me from placing an online order.
Today I received a catalogue from Lands End – I am sure the first of about 10 before Christmas arrives and they had the most darling shoes. I quickly flipped through, pausing occasionally, sighing over the fact that I wouldn't be placing an order when these words jumped off the page:
GET THE RIGHT SIZE – FIRST TRY!
We've got the shoes they like, and the size that's right.
Simply go online and print our shoe size guide.
One beef I have for FOOT Fit chart. There should be consistency, but the bottom line is this great chart you can print. Your kids can step on the chart and Voila! you know what size to order.– there isn't a link for SHOE size guide. And if you search the site for that phrase you come up empty – on the website the chart is referred to as a
I wish they had the same thing for adults, but what they do have is a conversion chart which is easy to use.
Lands End put their feet in their customer's shoes and found a potential issue that might be keeping people from placing on line orders and they filled the need.
Simple and yet the potential for additional sales could be mind boggling.
When was the last time you put yourself in the shoes of your customer? What simple solutions might you offer that would make ordering from you easier?
Deborah Chaddock Brown
Writer, Shoe Buyer