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Defending Our Decisions

This one may be tough to deal with but we all gotta do it. We make a decision. The decision turns out to be less than perfect, not working as intended, sending the wrong message, creating an un-anticipated outcome, or just plain wrong. That aside, “it is my decision and that’s what we’re doing, daag-nabbitt”.

Defending our less than terrific business decisions and then carrying on as if nothing is wrong is not like cheating at Solitaire. When one cheats himself at Solitaire he is the only victim of such weakness. When one defends a bad or less than terrific business decision, the whole team suffers. What we have to do is examine the effects of the decision without “taking it personally”. That is a very difficult thing for me to do for sure. I believe it is also very difficult for most people to do. Our decisions are a product of our recognition of a situation, ability to analyze the situation, determination of desired outcome, development of an action plan and then executing that action. In this regard we have more control over our decisions than we have over our own children. Everybody knows how much we all love our precious kids. Just think, how much we must cherish our decisions; good or bad.

I was reading a white paper by Retail Systems Research titled, “Retail Pricing Best Practices”. This quote from the first paragraph got my attention, “Retailers, reacting to perceptions and not executing against a thought-out price strategy, are creating their own worst nightmare out of some of their best customers”. In the same paragraph RSR reported that 67% of participating retailers said “…consumer price sensitivity is a top three business challenge…”, that represents a 46% increase over the previous survey.  In the same survey 40% of the retailers stated that showrooming (consumers using a smart phone and price shopping from your floor) had no impact on their business.

How is it smart to understand a consumer trend but claim not my consumers? That is like bending over and putting one’s head in a hole in the ground in ostrich fashion.  When bent over like that, others might see “vulnerable parts and take critical advantage of” the guy with his head in the hole. When a retailer realizes that there is a growing tendency for consumers to conduct lower price research BUT NOT IN MY STORE, that retailer is defending a bad decision.

The decision to act as if the consumer requires no justification for a higher price in my store than the online guy and then defend such a decision by claiming “my consumers don’t look at the Internet competition” is a serious mistake. Of course it is almost impossible to insulate your products and some of your services from Internet competition. 

A retailer can and should educate himself about his Internet (and all other) competition. He should be aware that consumers are gathering the same education. Then the retailer should make a decision to conduct business in such a way as to compel the consumer to choose the retailer.  Defending that kind of decision, is the right thing to do.

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