The end of summer marks many occasions: storing white pants away, end of summer cookouts and most importantly, end of season sales

Everywhere you look, it’s ‘SALE, BLOWOUT, SUMMER CLOSEOUT.’ And if you’ve been to the mall in the last month, you’ve probably seen this.

“Customer experience is now the fifth marketing P that needs to be managed as purposely and carefully as the product, and the price, and the promotion, the traditional Ps of the marketing mix. We now have to consider how technology enables the service experience, and how sales associates are hired and trained and coached to interact with customers. Now we see the brand as something to be managed across every single touch point.” Lisa Macpherson, Hallmark (via Forbes)

What does a messy store say to the customer, and more importantly what does that do to the customer experience? As much as I love getting a great deal, I avoid end-of-season sales as much as I can. The clutter and disorganization stresses me out and causes me to leave empty-handed and dissatisfied

As you all know, great customer experiences result in increased sales and increased customer loyalty. My advice for retail stores and their big sales? Clean it up and make it easy to shop.

Check out these further resources from Don Peppers and SalesHQ on the importance of customer experience.

Tell us about your customer experiences during this end-of-season sale or past.