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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Pssst! Repeat Business Is A Thing.

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One of the "5 Surprising Findings About How People Actually Buy Clothes and Shoes" recently promulgated by Harvard Business Review simultaneously got both an amen and a chuckle out of me. Number Five on the list was:

450px-Chino_pants.jpg
Some of us would like to ... just go to the store and buy some pants. (Image via Wikipedia.)
Myth: Consumers always want something new.

Fact: Very often, they are happy to re-buy the same or a similar item.


...

Brands should, to some extent, change their mindsets: Success could mean finding consumers that like a product and reselling it to them, and not always trying to reinvent the wheel. The customer, not the product, should come first. Repurchasing of products previously bought could be made easier through promotions on similar items, tailored advertising for new versions, reminders when a product likely needs to be replaced, and even subscription services. To get to know customers better, brands might encourage them to go online during trips to physical stores and to comment on products through apps. Manufacturers can then follow up and encourage repeat purchases. [formatting in orignal]
Whoa! So lots of people buy things, like them, and want more when they wear out. How weird is that?

This reminds me of how Old Navy lost my business, hence the amen. I started out being able to buy causal pants there, but the last few times, I couldn't get what I wanted: something that wasn't either baggy or "skinny pants." (I am slim, but find skin-tight clothing extremely uncomfortable.)

But really. Is the fact that a businessman might want repeat business the kind of cutting-edge discovery that merits the limelight in a prestigious publication?

It shouldn't be, but I hope a few in the apparel industry take note.

-- CAV

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