Do you shop for products that don’t exist?
If 83% of Americans are researching products online before they purchase in stores, why are there so many uninformed consumers out there? Personally, I am an online researching enthusiast, so before I ever walk into a store, I have read all the reviews, narrowed down my selection, and already know who sells the product that I want to purchase. I have decided which features I can’t live without, chosen the color, and measured the space the item will inhabit.
But that’s me, I love internet research. Some people like to talk to another person about that kind of stuff and that’s great too! Before we could research on the internet, we could research in the stores, in newspapers, and in advertising circulars. We should educate ourselves in an effort to figure out what we want, what we like, what’s available, and how much it costs.
Would I like a BMW X5 in midnight blue with dark gray, leather interior and a moon roof? Yes, I would. Does BMW make that? I’d have to check. Can I afford it? Probably not. What about a product that isn’t regularly advertised or a brand that isn’t known for being expensive? I would have to do some research before I made a decision.
More often than I can even believe, consumers are looking to purchase an item that they know nothing about. They’re vague about the features they want or need, have no idea which brands manufacture those items, and have no concept of their cost. In those cases, its virtually impossible to make that consumer happy. If they buy, its not exactly what they want, because they never knew exactly what they wanted to begin with. If they don’t buy, they’re frustrated that you couldn’t find them what they wanted.
What about someone who does the research and knows what they want, they just don’t like the prices? In the interest of realism, let’s assume that the consumer is aware of the going rate for the item they are interested in, but they can’t afford it or they’re holding out for a better price. How do they go about getting the item they want for the amount, or close to the amount, they want to spend?
Am I allowed to say research? Because that’s the answer. There are a vast number of resources that can help with this particular issue. Some are specifically designed for that purpose and others require a little bit of follow through. Ugh, I know.
Have you ever made a purchase online or otherwise and received a follow up email with a discount offer? Chances are, if you sign up for the newsletter before you make a purchase, you’ll be privy to a lot more than just a discount offer. You’ll be notified when they’re having a sale or which products are new. Right to your inbox! What could be easier than that? The website of your favorite store, manufacturer websites, even design sites will send out email newsletters with new product information and specials.
Inserts in your newspaper or circulars stuffed in your mailbox? You’ll be blown away by the gems that are lurking in all of that “junk” mail. Businesses spend thousands of dollars a year to find out what you want to buy, what you want it to look like, how much you want to spend, and when you want to buy it. Taking a moment to skim through those advertisements can pay off in a big way! When you know what you’re looking for, it doesn’t take long to see if the product in front of you is what you’re looking for.
In the appliance business, stores regularly have “token” items or display merchandise at a discount. When you stop into a store and already know what you’re looking for, many times the sales people will have the freedom to suggest special items that fit your description. Instead of spending time narrowing down your must-have features, they can take the time to do some research of their own. Even if your first visit doesn’t yield any results, ask the sales person to call you if anything comes up and follow up in a few weeks. Making that kind of contact can be priceless.
We have virtually unlimited access to information on a daily basis and should take full advantage of it. Why not use that information to make the most satisfying and cost effective purchases? Knowing what you want and what is out there enables us to get what we want, pay what we want, and fully enjoy it.
The Cookhouse Project with Hampton Major Appliances
The are few places in the home that can be as functional, social, and creative as the kitchen. As a child I can recall the smell of bread baking in the warm kitchen, my mother kneading dough and sprinkling herbs. Later memories include family or friends standing around the kitchen island, wide varieties of snacks displayed, while delicious smells wafted from sizzling pans on the stove and out of the oven.
My family loved to entertain and, very often, the house was filled with guests. Both parents could be seen flitting from one appliance to another, Dad laying out appetizers and making drinks, Mom preparing home-made pasta, all while friends and family milled about and socialized. It was a beautiful way to grow up and those experiences laid the ground work for what I would eventually believe the kitchen could and should represent in our homes.
No longer an area of isolation, the kitchen has become a place where people can hang out, the chef can be viewed, and the process of creating your meal is on display. We are becoming increasingly interested in viewing things that were once hidden for reasons of propriety. Open kitchens in restaurants are becoming more and more common, so why should the kitchen in your home be any different? The era of a strictly utilitarian kitchen is over. As we invite guests into our kitchens, our kitchens must become inviting, too. Each year our kitchen appliances become easier to use and more beautiful. These are exciting times for your kitchen!
I am excited to welcome you to The Cookhouse Project, where you can expect to learn more about the products you already own and research the products that are just becoming available.