Surviving a pressure test can reveal a lot about your business.
The holidays put added stress on a number of points in your business. From staffing (and staff shortages), to POS systems and inventory, the holidays will show you exactly what works and what doesn’t when foot traffic and sales pick-up.
In this episode, Adrienne enlightens Mark with her recent trip to Hobby Lobby for holiday decor and how she almost left a $200 transaction in line over inefficiencies at the register.
Tangible Takeaway: Learn how to pressure test your business from multiple angles before the rush of major holidays to ensure that customers leave your store delighted and ready to return.
Mark Kinsley: Adrienne went to Hobby Lobby and her checkout experience in a $59 Santa Claus picture could change the way you think about your business. It is pressure testing season and the FAM marketing show starts right now.
Mark Kinsley: Welcome to the FAM marketing Show Strategies, tips, and ideas to help retailers and brands grow their furniture, appliances, and mattress business.
Adrienne Woods: Adrian. Yo, Mr. Kinsley, how are.
Mark Kinsley: Wonderful, happy holiday season. We’re right in the middle of it. We’ve wrapped up Thanksgiving and we’re sprinting toward Christmas. How you feeling? I’m
Adrienne Woods: feeling good because I have spent a lot of money. .
Mark Kinsley: What does make you feel good?
Adrienne Woods: I mean, you know, sometimes. I told a friend today, she was like, why do you always give gifts?
And I was like, it’s purely selfish. I said, because I love feeling giddy, like knowing what? I’ve got other people. So it has nothing to do with you and everything about how it makes me feel.
Mark Kinsley: Can you, okay, so this would be a question of who listens to the show. Okay. Uh, can you tell me a gift that you’ve purchased for somebody that maybe doesn’t listen to the show, but you could be ruining it for them right now
Adrienne Woods: if I told you.
Okay. I’m like looking at it cuz it got delivered today. I got my friend a KitchenAid mixer.
Mark Kinsley: What I know that’s like a real
Adrienne Woods: gift. I know. But I got a really great deal on it. And she is an, an incredible baker. And so I don’t forget what we were doing back in like, I wanna say the summer. And I was like, you don’t have a, a KitchenAid mixer.
Like she mixes everything by hand and she is of all my friends, like makes little cakes and just everything for all the people. So I found a great deal in a KitchenAid mixer for Black Friday.
Mark Kinsley: That is a wonderful gift. I can’t, maybe I, let’s see how she likes it. I can’t wait to see her face. Maybe you can snap a picture right as she opens it.
Adrienne Woods: for sure will. I’m so pumped. It’s probably my most exciting gift of the year.
Mark Kinsley: Well, and I know you picked up some other gifts when you went to Hobby Lobby, one of, one of the gifts was been gonna be the gift of gift of home decoration for you. Yeah. You have this amazing story that really kind of ushered to the surface some lessons in business and market.
And I want you to tell a story after the trivia
Adrienne Woods: question. After the trivia question. Okay. This has nothing to do with the holidays, but I feel like I have been using it just for all of these like parties that I’m going to and year end sort of deals. When was Survey Monkey originally created? Yeah, and I’ll give you some.
When was serving? Mm-hmm. originally created? Yes. Okay. 95 99. 2003 or 2010. Okay, so we go
Mark Kinsley: from the nineties into the two thousands. Now I do remember whenever Survey Monkey came onto the scene, I’m not saying I was the most tech advanced purpose person, but I do remember, you know, trying to put together surveys and it was kind of a pain.
And I’m like, how do you do this? And then Survey Monkey came out. It really made it intuitive, you know, and I think, uh, the evolution of Survey Monkey now is Typeform. A lot of people are using Typeform, which is nice. Very true.
Adrienne Woods: So I will tell you, okay, so that it has been bought. So Momentum, momentum, ink.
Is an experience-based management company that offers cloud-based software, and they are now the owners of SurveyMonkey. I think SurveyMonkey morphed into it, so they consider it to be this cloud-based software that helps with brand insights and marketing insights and product experience and all the things.
And in light of our conversation today, I thought it was an interesting trivia question.
Mark Kinsley: all right, so we’re gonna find out. Yes. Now I, I know which decade I’m leaning toward, but I’m gonna say my answer for the end. Okay. Because we want you to also go over to fam. And you can vote not, not vote. I mean, text us.
Text us and let us know what, what you know about Survey Monkey and when you think it was Yeah. Unveiled
Adrienne Woods: to the world burst. Yeah. We’re not sending out a survey for you to vote in. Just text us like it’s 2022 and give us your answer. .
Mark Kinsley: Well, speaking of uh, texting like it’s 2022, you just had a retail experience, like it was more like 1980.
Adrienne Woods: I know. And so, okay, so here’s the deal, and I wish I could show people, I will try and find a picture for when this goes on the blog, just so that people can see this masterpiece that I bought, but. So as most of you know, you probably have home decorator stores where you live. So we have Hobby Lobby, like we don’t have Michael’s, we don’t have any of these like decorators warehouses.
All we have is Hobby Lobby. And of course it’s not even December 1st. So when we’re recording this, it’s still November, which means that every Christmas decor item is already 75% off cuz we gotta prepare for Valentine’s Day, right? So I go yesterday to just see what they’ve got and I find this painting that.
$250 marked down to 59 99. Now I have to pick up my son at two o’clock, which means I need to leave Hobby Lobby by one 30. At one 20. I get in line to purchase this and a couple of other things that I had picked up along the way, and at 1 41 I’m running to my car. To get in the car to be able to go pick my kid up.
So I stood in line for 21 minutes they had, and I took inventory of the situation. Okay. They have 12 of their 16 registered o registers open and each line is at least five people deep. And it’s not like I would say that I got just the slowest of all of them. They were all slow. And what I noticed when I got up there, and I just, I know this because I know Hobby Lobby each week, hobby Lobby puts out just like a flyer of what their sales are for the week.
When you get up to the register, those cash registers are manually keying in the discounts. Like a lot of them have to like reference their sheet to say, oh yeah, like this is 30% off. Oh, oh yeah, this is the 50% off. And so that’s what’s happening for each individual item that you are purchasing. They’re scanning it and they’re manually keying in the discount.
I think the only automated process in that is they’re like, oh, you bought seven wreaths for your table settings. I can put in seven, but I’m still gonna have to manually key in the. Overall for everything. And I was telling my husband this last night and I said, had I not, because this was the last Santa painting they had left.
I said, if I had not really wanted this painting, I just would’ve left and I had other items. I spent almost $200. That I didn’t need to spend, but I’m like, and he just looked at me and he goes, that is, that is ancient technology. The, they should have the ability to simply scan a, a skew and it sh reflect in the discount.
Nobody. He goes, labor is their most expensive asset and they are bleeding money, having people manually key in all of this stuff. So as I was talking to you about it, you brought up the fact that we were pressure testing and we found a flaw in their system.
Mark Kinsley: That’s what the holidays are. The holidays, pressure test retail environments, because you’re putting a high volume of people through your processes, so it’s gonna reveal cracks in your plumbing or holes in your systems, your processes, your people, whatever it might be.
Everything gets pressure tested and here you are, a mom in a hurry. I mean, and it’s midday. I mean, it’s late afternoon. Yes. And it wasn’t even time for kids to be outta school. I
Adrienne Woods: walked in at one o’clock. Okay. I needed, I had 30 minutes. I was like, no problem. I’m just here to see what we’ve got. Picked all my stuff.
Got in line at one 20. I don’t think that it’s unrealistic to think I’ll be out in 10 minutes. Nope. 21 minutes later. 21
Mark Kinsley: minutes you said, I was asking you, I’m like, did anybody get outta line and actually leave? Because that’s something I would do. I’d be like, okay, like this is not gonna move at the pace I wanted it to.
Some people are sitting there going, well, I’m pot committed at this point. I’m gonna go ahead and finish this hand of poker and, and you know, finish my day. And you said that you, you talked to a friend of yours mm-hmm. , who didn’t actually get out of line, but she had a different experience.
Adrienne Woods: So I was talking to you, I dropped my kids off for school this morning and their art teacher, I ran into her at another major retailer that is, Not Walmart.
Um, and as I’m there, we were just talking about, I said, yes, I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday. Everything’s 75% off. And she goes, well, I’m gonna have to make time for that. And I just laughed and I said, oh, trust me. I stayed in line for 21 minutes. And she said, so she teaches art. And she’s like, I have figured out.
She goes, I teach it, I think it’s one o’clock on Fridays whenever she figured out, whenever her time is, it’s a weekly thing. She only has one class. She goes, I cannot pop into Hobby Lobby and just grab art supplies on my way. Like I have to carve out time. in my day because it is always, if it’s gonna take me 25 minutes, five minutes, grabbing the item, and I will stand in line for 20 minutes.
Either they’re understaffed at their registers, or there’s just so many people and they’re maxed out at their registers, that everything is five lines deep. And when you’re manually keying in discounts, I can see why it would take that long.
Mark Kinsley: This is such a bizarre mentality to me because I love efficiency and I think consumers reward places with their dollars when they are efficient.
And here we are with one, a major, major retailer. Yes. In the United States of America that is well known for their Christmas and holiday decorations. They know this is gonna happen, especially when everything goes on sale, like 95% off, you know, leading up to a holiday. . And so people are gonna come in and here you are, ding, ding, having to train people.
Mm-hmm. and having to key it in. And then skews are missing and mismatched and on and on it goes. And people are staying in line upset at the retailer where they’re doing business. And as we were talking through that, I’m like, when you get pressure tested like this, you have to find the friction and start removing it unless you strategically want to drive people crazy for some reason.
Adrienne Woods: Well, and I think, you know, we’re in this, we’re in 2022. We have seen online shopping continue to increase year over year. And it’s like, what are you doing in your business to ensure people want to be foot traffic in your store and not online? Because I was telling you beforehand, I bought these and I’m gonna just show everyone I bought these cute little Santa mugs from Pottery Barn.
I bought them online. They had a great sale. These are in-store. I checked. They were like, you can pick up at your local Pottery Barn. And I’m like, why? Because it’s Monday and you will ship them to me for free and I will have them by Wednesday. I can be patient. And so I took dollars that I could have spent at my local pottery Barn and I did them online because they just made it so easy.
Mark Kinsley: And in this day and age, if you make it difficult, and we talk about this all the time, winning in the transitions. Mm-hmm. , you know, what are the transitions that a consumer experiences. The transition from the parking lot to your front door or a transition from the time they’re ready to check out until they can actually leave with their receipt.
Those things are very, very clunky. You need to clean ’em up. Even just the other day I sat down at a local restaurant here in downtown Bentonville and we had some snacks and some drinks and a little bit of a meal, and I was presented with a, you know, the standard, whatever the leather holder is. Yeah.
Where they hand you your. And there was a QR code on it and I looked at the bartend bartender and said, can I just scan the QR code? Yes you can. He goes, yeah, he’s, some people have trouble with it, but I think you’re all should be all set. So I scan the QR code, I punch in Apple pay, leave my tip left.
Walked away. Zero friction. Yep. Zero friction. And I’m like, I will reward places like that with my business and my dollars because I know just like your friend, the art teacher, I can pop in and pop out. You’re gonna speed up part of the process that nobody likes. Right? Nobody likes to pay. Nobody likes to receive the payment.
I mean, yeah, the business likes to get the money, but you know what I’m saying? Nobody likes that experience. It’s clunky. Even the experience these days where they’re, it’s very European, but you know, you bring in the machine over and you’re handing them the machine. Nobody even wants to touch anything anymore.
So why are you making touch and touch things with greasy hands or post meal hands and all the stuff on your hands? You know? All over your hands. Yes. Like it’s all in your
Adrienne Woods: hands. Well, let me just tell you. So talking about another company who’s done it well, and I’m sure other companies do, but it goes back to like Sam’s Club.
I don’t know if you do scan and go, but that’s the only way I shop anymore. I’m literally scanning with my phone as I walk around and as I’m walking to the front, I do slide pays for everything, pulls up a QR code and I scan it on my way. I, I don’t ever go through a cash register anymore. And I told my husband the other day, I said, I do not understand why people are standing in line at Sam’s Club.
Like, you will go on a Saturday and it’s crazy busy, and you’ve got, you know, mile long lines. And I’m like, why are you people not scanning and going, you’re scanning as you’re walking. So that literally you just walk out the door. It’s not like you’re bagging anything at Sam’s Club and they’ve just made it so easy.
I’m like, I wish I could do this at Walmart or Target or
Mark Kinsley: anywhere else. So I haven’t ever done this and this is news to me. Okay. Oh, so help me understand this. So do you have to get this Sam’s Club
Adrienne Woods: app? Yes, download Sam’s Club app. It’s just called Scan and Go. So scan and go. You put in your membership number cuz you know Sam’s Club’s a membership.
I don’t know if Costco has this, but we only have Sam’s Club here in Walmart. Land. Put in your membership number. It’s an on the bottom. I wanna see if I can find my phone. Um, on the bottom it just says Scan and go. And as you’re walking around putting things in your cart, you scan it and then you walk out and slide it across.
So let’s see, where’s my Sam’s Club app? Here
Mark Kinsley: we go. And then Adrian, the longest line you have to stand. Is the one on the way out the door where they check to make sure, yes, that you purchased what’s in your cart,
Adrienne Woods: scan and go. You just click that button and then you start scanning the whole way through.
Mark Kinsley: That’s make it easier for people to spend money with you and they’ll spend money with you.
Adrienne Woods: Hmm. So I will say what they have done, kind of changing this up is once you scan and they have a scan and go line, so I mean, it’s even lesser of a line. You just scan the thing. They will scan three random items in your cart just to kind of make sure that you have scanned all of those items.
But it’s super easy and you get in and out and I don’t stand in lines. About all this. You can trash Sam’s Club to Hobby Lobby. And I’m like, what? Where’s the disconnect? What? Why are we doing this?
Mark Kinsley: Well, it’s a great contrast. I mean, because if you’re gonna have antiquated technology where people have to stand in line in this day and age, like we talk about, you have to give people a reason to get off their computer and come to your store cuz they’re driving, they’re using expensive gas, they’re taking away time from their families, they’re dealing with children.
All of this stuff adds up and people don’t want to deal with it. They don’t, they don’t have to. So if you’re gonna make people stand in line at your Hobby Lobby type store, you need to make standing in line. You need to create an experience with standing in line, but think about all the things you do within your retail store that creates friction, whether it’s payments we just talked about, you know, scanning the QR code really great, or applying for financing.
Evaluate those experiences waiting to get your mattress understanding. You’ve got the mattress that you ordered or the furniture that you ordered, and yes, this is the same stuff you bought in the store. All of these things add up to uncertainty. All of these things add up to friction and chaos and slow down and where you don’t want to be spending your time.
So the people that are gonna win are the people that can. Reduce the friction or create a different conversation, a different experience during those times of friction, which in many cases can be fun. Like, let’s create fun. It’s what Jesse Cole did with the Savannah Bananas. Instead of having, you know, the, in, like the change between innings, they put a a show on in between every innings.
So they have 18 shows during the course of a baseball game. So I love your story. I love that you, sorry, you experienced that with the. You love the Santa.
Adrienne Woods: It’s beautiful. I mean, it goes perfectly. It’s a giant painting of Santa Claus. I think it, I
Mark Kinsley: mean maybe, maybe it’s just a regular sized painting of Santa Claus and he’s giant.
Adrienne Woods: could be very true. I’ll like put the measurements in the content copy when this episode airs, just so people get an idea. Like I wasn’t just standing in line for some eight by 10. Okay. This thing is at least like a 20 by 24, maybe larger .
Mark Kinsley: I love it. I’m sure it’s gonna bring lots of holiday Joy to the woods household and the kiddos are gonna love it.
And I know that mom loves it. I do.
Adrienne Woods: I literally, cuz I stood in line for 21 minutes. If time is money, I spent more than 59 99. Let me just tell you, . All right. Do you wanna know when Survey Monkey was created?
Mark Kinsley: Yeah, I love Survey Monkey. When was Survey Monkey created? So you gave us in the nineties or the two thousands, right?
Adrienne Woods: 95. 99, 2003 or 2010.
Mark Kinsley: I’m gonna go, it was created in 99 and then it picked up steam, picked up traction, and really found its way in like the mid two thousands.
Adrienne Woods: I’m very impressed. That is correct. I would not have guessed the nineties at all.
Mark Kinsley: But, well, you know, Hey, I’m a child
Adrienne Woods: of the nineties. That’s so true.
So lemme tell you, they had their annual revenue for last year was 375.6 million.
Mark Kinsley: Man. Clearly that’s a of survey’s. Surveys. That’s a lot of surveys. That’s crazy. Well ha. Hey, have you used, uh, used Survey Monkey, maybe used something else? Text us. Go over to fam.news. Bottom right hand corner you can text us and uh, be sure to subscribe.
Give us a thumbs up and a review on Apple and Spotify. And when you do subscribe, you’re never gonna miss an idea, Adrian. That can make you
Adrienne Woods: a Santa Claus. I mean Santa Claus. Joy to all around you. I mean, bring
Mark Kinsley: you joy and everybody. Yes. There you go, . See you next time. We’re gonna bring you joy and fam marketing magic each and every week.
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