Why I hate Argos.
So, I’m sure Argos is fine for some people and maybe other stores are ok but my experience has never been what I want it to be.
What I mean by that is that I’ve never visited an Argos and not felt like I was bumbling through the whole experience as opposed to knowing exactly what I needed to do.
So we’re on the same page when I talk through my visit; below is a not to scale map of my local store.
So I walk in and the catalogues are on my right. Till’s to my left and collection point directly ahead. There are signs from the ceilings to label these but the message gets lost in with all the promotional signs and adverts for things. So straight away there’s no obvious place that I should start but because im familiar with the store (from years of growing up circling my Christmas wish in the Argos catalogue) I know where I need to go.
I flick through the catalogue and find the item I need and write the number down on the little sheet. Again this is a process that was essentially taught from my parents and not something the store makes obvious that you need to do.
Next I have to queue of pay for my item. The queue is fairly long but that can’t really be helped. I pay and am given a ticket to collect my item. Now here is where the frustration really starts. I then have to go back through the shop, where I’ve just been, to get to the collection point. I arrive at the collection point and try and figure out if I should be at point A, B or C. These sections seem an arbitrary distinction as the products all seem to come form the same place and the same staff member is handing them to the customers. My number is quite far down the list and so another wait is needed. But there’s no queue system at the collection point. There’s a few chairs and a waiting area but no organisation. So I’m not sure where to stand or sit and if it even matters. I don’t know who’s first in the queue and how far down the list I am.
After a time my number is called. I collect my items and leave. Feeling a little lost and confused.
My issue is that there was no progress to the experience. After queuing to pay there was no fulfilment in completing that process. I was just made to queue again and this time with even less indication of how long for. It felt like a step backwards with added confusion of trying to figure out the stores internal organisation of collection point sections which had no real impact on how I got my product.
I know there’s ways where you can reserve online and then swagger in and collect your items but to me, Argos is a high street store and if I was gonna order it online I’d just get it delivered.
The question is then, what would I do to improve the experience.
I would make the experience more like checking in at an airport.
When you’re at an airport (at least a fairly well designed one) there’s obvious progress indicators through the process. You can feel yourself getting closer (physically and mentally) to the goal (boarding the plane) And generally it’s easy to see what the next step that needs to be completed.
I would redesign the store so that the tills allowed you to pass through into the waiting area as opposed to having to go back where you started.
I did a quick mock up of what I think it should look like.
This gives me (the customer) an obvious path to take. The customer is basically just going around the store in an anti-clockwise circle. Nice and simple. It also allowed for a larger waiting area and a larger ‘random items’ section. I’ve not changed anything too drastic here. I’ve basically just rearranged the furniture but with the user in mind.
So yeah. That’s my rant on why I hate Argos. Or at least why I hate my local Argos