Would you pay to browse a shop?
I’ve written before about my own dubious habit of going to bookshops to find books and then buying them on the Internet. A Brisbane nutritionist shop has recently taken action to counter just this sort of thing by charging a fee to browse the shop, the fee then being deducted if you buy something.
In one sense we might see this as a precursor of the things to come. A future where browsing, being able to pick up objects and look at them in the real world are things worth paying for. Then again maybe not. I can’t honestly see this working, it’s more likely to annoy people than anything else.
I can comprehend the frustration that would lead to a shopkeeper going down this road though. A better solution might be to offer superlative service and atmosphere so that people are will to choose the bricks-and-mortar shop online. But given the price differential for many goods between here and the USA maybe even goodwill wont carry the day.