Deviating slightly from a pure tech focus, I got thinking about whether or not brand loyalty still exists today as a result of digital advancements over the past decade.
Online shopping has certainly taken off and one of the big sites that comes to mind is eBay. I’ve bought a stack of stuff off eBay (things like a bass guitar, more computer stuff, Cisco IP Phone, etc) and can be a great place to pick up a bargain so long as people in it for the thrill of the auction don’t get involved and drive the prices up.
I have also used sites such as staticICE to find the lowest prices on computer parts which lists a huge number of stores and ranks them in order of least expensive to most expensive. Given this sort of presentation, you would go for the cheapest one every time, right?
I’ve actually found quite the opposite and that I tend to frequent the same handful of vendors. Only in rare circumstances would I deviate from my list of “preferred suppliers” if:
- there was a substantial saving to be realised or,
- my “preferred suppliers” did not have stock of what I was after and time was an issue.
Now, by no means am I expecting shops to partake in a race to the bottom but I do like to get what I am after at a reasonable price. I recognise that doing business comes with an associated cost but also prefer to reward those businesses that provide a “non-negative” customer experience. The reason why I haven’t said “positive” is that in most cases I am content with a neutral interaction. I rock up, find the item, pay for it and then go home. What I do find incredibly suffocating are hovering salespeople but that would well be more about me than anything else.
Having said that, if a store happens to offer that sort of thing and that floats your boat then more power to you!
So how do you shop? Do you go for the lowest possible price wherever it is available or stick with a few regular businesses for a little extra?