Open Letter to Retailers: Stop Wasting my Time!


Dear Retailer,

I am writing because your store sells products that I both need and want to purchase.  However, it appears you are doing much to prevent me from purchasing these things.  Frankly, you are wasting my time and I am tired of it.

I don’t want to learn your inventory management system in order to see if something is in stock.  I don’t want to scroll through your stores to find my local store to determine if it is open.  I don’t want to enter all of my information into your customer relationship management system.  I don’t want to fill in your point of sale system only to wait in line at your store as you try and find my order.

In short, I don’t work for you.  You work for me.  I want a little service.  If you can provide me with a little service, I promise to buy every product from you that you sell and I need.

I want to ask a simple question like “What time are you open until?” or “Can I schedule a test drive for today at 6PM?” or “Do you have this ring on display in your store?” and I want the correct answer.  I want that answer to come from someone in the store who is accountable and can answer my future questions in person or digitally.  I want your management team to oversee the conversations I am having with your team to ensure you are hiring and training the best employees to meet my basic service needs.

With all this fancy technology, I am frustrated that I still can’t get what I want:

“I’d like a large cheese pizza”

“Okay, Josh.  It’ll be ready for pick up in 10 minutes”


“I need a black suit.  Can you put a few 40R black suits in a dressing room, I’ll be by in 1 hour”

“Your suits are waiting.  Just ask for Mike when you arrive.”

Somehow the millions of software engineers working on eCommerce and other retail technologies have still not cracked this amazingly hard (read: sarcasm) problem except one: Purple Cloud.


Josh Shatkin-Margolis

(no relation to the CEO of Purple Cloud)