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Have you ever noticed when a store's online look and feel don't match it's offline experience, or vice versa?...


You've built up expectations of a certain standard, but one just isn't even in the same league as the other in anticipating the needs of your buying mind.
For the "it all matters" shopping woman - this sort of let down can put a chink in the armor of a longstanding, or long-building, relationship with a brand. Apparently, even Apple has its problems in this area (say it isn't so!), so it is understandable if your business/organization hasn't completely tended to this level of consistency. But, take heed.
Leigh Duncan wrote a great piece in this week's issue of the MarketingProfs.com newsletter describing her disappointment in a recent in-store experience with Apple. She, like so many others, is a big fan of the brand and has become accustomed to their attention to design and details in packaging, online, ad campaigns etc.
But the reality of her latest visit did not meet her high expectations - it was a complete disconnect. What she describes, in helpful detail, is her difficulty in seeing signage, the weird (having to stoop low) placement of shelves and the inevitability of bumping into other shoppers. (It's worth reading the whole piece.)
While Leigh writes from her perspective as a customer experience expert, her day at Apple also represents a few of the basic truths of marketing to women (and just plain old high standards of customer experience - for either gender).
Signage should be easy to see (line of sight, in font and color that you can read without squinting or looking up toward the rafters).
Check-out areas should be beyond obvious.
Shelves should make it easy to find what you are looking for, not harder (no matter your age or gender, having to bend down to see things is not appreciated). What Paco Underhill calls "butt brushing" (such a descriptive term!) is incredibly irritating - and can be the final straw.
The disconnect between the Radio Shack ads I've been seeing on television this past year and the actual dreary and cluttered interior of the local store, is yet another of many examples of such inconsistency.
Moral of the story: invite your women customers to help you find and correct any on - to offline inconsistencies. With their high buying standards, they are likely to see them l-o-n-g before you do.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Andrea Learned
Andrea Learned is a noted author, blogger, and expert on gender-based consumer behavior. Her current focus is on sustainability from both the consumer and the organizational perspectives. Andrea contributes to the Huffington Post and provides sustainability-focused commentary for Vermont Public Radio.