A few weeks ago, I was out to buy a pair of high-heeled booties. This, I don’t buy online because 1/there aren’t too many e-tailers in Canada and 2/this is one accessory I have to try before making up my mind. I enter this store that has opened its doors last year straight from France, a store that I’ve come to know and love while I was there.
Price tag: 199. I try it, fits me like a glove. Then, I look under the sole to remind me of the price and I read…299. So this is when it gets interesting…
“Why the price difference” I ask.
“It’s in canadian dollars“, he says.
“The price you initially saw was in euros, you see the euro sign?” he continues.
Then, I stupidly asked
“Why do you do that?“.
And you won’t believe the response. It goes something like this:
“I want clients [French expats] to compare the price and see that they are getting the best currency-conversion deal“
(in other words, “I don’t have the time or the manpower to change the price tags on EVERY pair shipped from France”).
“But hey I’m willing to give you 20% off.“, he adds.
Of course, me being a customer advocate for as long as I can remember, I couldn’t leave it like that (and since I was going to purchase them anyway)
“Sir, if there’s one thing we consumers pay a lot of attention to is TRANSPARENCY. I’m sure you know better“.
To that, he replies and that’s when my face turned ocean-blue:
“The customer has to learn.”
If I had energy and time, I’d add:
“Your price tags must reflect the local currency on very single one of your items because one of these days, a customer is going to come up to you and say that the first price they saw is the one they will pay, not withstanding the tiny currency symbol, because by default, everything in Canada is sold in Canadian dollars.”
“Oh, and you must learn from your customers”.
What we can we (I) learn from this?
From a customer’s perspective? Nothing. Or perhaps hope that the retailer will try fixing this asap, at the eve of x-mas.
From a retailer’s perspective. Survey your customers before thinking that they may be thinking your way.