MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

how many of us miss the obvious opportunities that are in front of us every day? you know, the ones that – looking back – you think ‘how could i have missed that??’

i’m in minneapolis this weekend getting ready to head to new orleans for imaging USA for a few days. i just finished helping with a good friend’s fashion show gala thursday night and am getting in some quality work and creative (and relaxing) time with my BFF before leaving for the bayou.

so today we headed out in the blizzard (translation: light snow) to Byerly’s to get some ingredients to make bruschetta. we’ve been to this grocery store a dozen times before but this time my web-guru friend opted to use the drive-through service to have them load her groceries into her car for us.

PURE. GENIUS.

i can tell you that there is NOWHERE in edmond – or even OKC that i KNOW of – that has this service. if there is, they are doing an extremely poor job of marketing it. think about it – you go through the checkout line and the cashier asks if you want to have your groceries into your car for you at their drive through. all this takes is a simple ‘YES PLEASE!’ there is no charge for this service.

so after saying yes, they pop your groceries into a numbered bin and hand you the corresponding numbered card. you then drive through a generous-sized COVERED area where the bins come out on a utilitarian conveyer belt. after handing your numbered card to the SUPER friendly and efficient grocery-loader (is there a better term for this valuable job??), they will put them in your car wherever you like with a smile and a ‘have a great day!’ you NEVER have to leave your car.

i was SUPER impressed. think about the missed opportunity that suburban community grocery stores are missing that don’t offer this service! i would have paid FIVE times the amount for my groceries when my kids were little to take advantage of this service EVERY time i went to the store. whether it was snowing, raining, windy, too cold, too hot, WHATEVER. i would also take advantage of this NOW. and this free and valuable service made ALL the difference to us today. i would shop at a store like this LOYALLY. i can imagine that many edmond-ites would do the same as well.

remember when braums stopped letting you get milk at the drive-thru? they lost a LOT of loyal customers when this happened (yes, i was one of them – and so were about 3 dozen of my mom friends). people were abusing this service at the drive thru by handing near-full grocery lists to the drive thru attendants, thus holding up the drive thru line and aggravating other patrons. however, instead of limiting drive thru groceries to basics such as 1 gallon of milk and 1 loaf of bread, they closed this service off completely. to a new mom having to get out of the car with a sleeping newborn, or a mom with sick kids, or a dozen other situations – this changed everything. they lost out on an obvious opportunity.

i’ve also heard of grocery stores that have drop off babysitting services for you while you shop. another valuable service that would set stores apart from the crowd.

this is the theme of the book Blue Ocean Strategy. creating uncontested market space and making the competition irrelevant. i would suggest this to ANY small business. and if you’re a grocery store in edmond, give it a chance. you might pick up on something that would make you invaluable to your target market.

peace and popsicles –
jen icon smile MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

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