Sunday, January 20, 2013

A New Shopping Experience from Clinique?

I come from a family of speed shoppers. We know what we want, often meticulously written on a list, we know instantaneously whether we want it or not, and we'd rather not linger too long in the shops. Though this certainly isn't a shopping style that appeals to everyone, it is a proclivity that can make shopping for cosmetics, skin care or fragrance a bit frustrating. There are certainly times that I love to spend time at cosmetic counters to chat with sales associates and gain new product knowledge, but more often than not I'm a bit of a lone wolf and would rather browse undisturbed until it's time to make my purchase. Though I never advocate being impolite to sales associates who simply want to help you, it's hard to deny that it can occasionally be frustrating when you're in a hurry and encounter an over zealous employee at "Makeup Brand X" that desperately wants you to try their latest mascara. 

Nevertheless, having worked in retail on the other side of the counter, I understand the difficulty that differing "shopping personalities" can pose for sales associates who are there to help, and/or work on commission. It's next to impossible to suss out which customer is in the mood to chat and which isn't when they walk in the door. Clinique has thought of a clever way to change that. On a recent shopping trip at our local Clinique counter, my Grandmother (the Queen of what my family has lovingly dubbed "Kamikaze Shopping") discovered a pile of bracelets marked with the following phrases: "Browsing and happy." "I have time. Let's talk." and "Time is of the essence."

My Grandmother was smitten with the concept, and with the permission of the lovely associates at the Clinique counter brought the three bracelets home for me to share on Getting Cheeky. Like my Grandmother I love this concept. In the span of two seconds you can select the appropriate bracelet, pull it on and shop accordingly. Though I'm sure a "Time is of the essence." label wouldn't exclude you from a response if you asked a question, the idea is to allow you to set the pace for your own shopping experience. I find this idea incredibly innovative and exciting. I often am "Browsing and happy." and knowing me, nine times out of ten I will be making a purchase! 

So which label would you select for yourself? Should more cosmetics counters and stores take a nod from this concept and encourage customers to indicate whether they'd like to chat or left to their own devices?