How Inconsistency Kills the Sale

Recently I needed to buy a rain jacket for my daughter. I’ve had good success with the quality of L.L. Bean, so my first instinct was to head to My search started with Kids’>Girls’>Outerwear>Jackets. This revealed 13 choices of which seven appeared to be a rain jacket of some type. After a painful review of each jacket to determine the differences, I finally settled on the “Discovery Rain Jacket, Lined.” The cozy gray fleece interior shown in the featured red rain jacket was a big selling point for me. However, when I went to pick my color of choice, I discovered the pink jacket looked completely different. I could no longer see the cozy gray fleece interior. In fact, upon close examination, the interior looked like the cold netting used in wind-breakers. Completely inconsistent images!


Now, put yourself in my place, you’re in a rush, you just want to buy the jacket and move on with your day. You don’t want to deal with a return later, you don’t want to call sales/customer service to ask someone about the discrepancy, you just want to purchase and move on. What do you think I did? I PAUSED. I decided to wait until I had more time to give L.L. Bean a call to be sure the pink jacket had the same cozy fleece lining inside as the red one. Then again, maybe I would not purchase from L.L Bean at all.


Sure, I could have taken the risk and purchased the pink jacket and hoped it was as described, but I forgot to mention something to you. I’d already had a bad experience with this retailer. Yes, I had ordered a fleece sweatshirt from L.L. Bean for myself about a year ago. I liked it so much I ordered another in a different color within a week. The second fleece arrived and was completely different! It was very thick, cheaply made and difficult to move in. Needless to say I was confused and very disappointed by the inconsistency. Well this past experience is what flashed through my mind as I looked at the pink jacket without the gray lining.


The moral to this story, if you are a retailer, BE CONSISTENT – in your images, in your descriptions and in your pricing. Explain all inconsistencies to your customers. Don’t waste your customers’ time by not telling them what they need to know before the purchase. Often it is the innocent inconsistency that kills the sale.

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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.