What is Showrooming? Let me briefly explain. Showrooming is the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar retail store without purchasing it (Source: Wikipedia). Today, retail stores have just become a medium for shoppers to evaluate the product physically. Shoppers today shop online to gain advantage of the low price. Fighting against this low price has become a major challenge for the traditional brick and mortar retailers.
Below are some industry statistics
- Showrooming increases 156% in two years (Source: Vibes)
- 44% Consumers are showrooming frequently (Source: Vibes)
- 53% of the shoppers use their mobile phones for price comparisons inside a store
- Consumer Electronics (63%) and Apparel, Clothing, & Accessories (43%) are the most affected category where consumers purchased online after showrooming (Source: Statista)
- 70% of consumers use a mobile phone in a retail store to research and accompany their shopping experiences (Source: ForeSee Results)
Does the above statistics state that showrooming can really kill businesses? I don’t think so. There are many value adds that retailers can provide that can reduce the adverse effect of showrooming. InfoStretch Labs has created solutions for retailers that will not only help them fight showrooming but will be able to create relevance for customers.
Below are some suggestions from InfoStretch Lab for retailers
1. Gain advantage of availability of product:
While shopping online, shoppers usually have to wait long periods of time to receive the ordered product. Sometimes this can even take up to a month or longer if being shipped from overseas. This brings in an opportunity to brick and mortar retailers, as they can provide the product immediately once the shopping is done.
2. Improve in-store Experience:
86% of the customers leave the store because of bad experiences. Therefore, providing a good shopping experience plays a vital role for the retailers. Retailers should think about providing multi-channel retail experience that keep shoppers in stores. For example, providing location based services that provide targeted recommendations and personalized marketing messages as they move around the store can not only make shopping fun but can enable retailers to cross-sell/up-sell.
3. Enhance Sales Agent’s Skills:
According to research from PwC, more than 80% of consumers conduct preliminary research before making a purchase. This demands more knowledgeable sales agents to solve shopper’s pain points. If the in-store sales agent is trained in-depth on products, retailers would gain more advantage over online channel as online channel lags the personal touch and face-to-face communication. A trained sales agent can help boost consumers’ confidence that the product that they buy is the best one for them at the best price.
4. Provide benefits for re-visit:
More a shopper visits the retail store, higher the probability of shopping on every visit. In order to instigate shopper to visit the stores, retailers should implement innovative ideas. For example, retailers can send promotions and advertisements directly to customers’ mobile phones, thereby engaging and influencing them to make real time purchases on-the-go. They can also deliver electronic loyalty programs, providing customers with real value — and convenience.
In summary, if the retailer adapts to technology and uses right technology that provides the right solution at the right time, showrooming would look less scary, and it will help retailers to turn their challenges into opportunities.
InfoStretch’s Lab has created its solution to fight against showrooming and is continuously improving it to fight against different challenges faced by retailers.