Stop Showrooming Before Showrooming Stops You!
Increasingly, brick-and-mortar retail stores are facing a growing threat to their sales: showrooming. As online shopping in the USA continues its seemingly never-ending rise, consumers are still expecting the service that they can only get at an actual store. Indeed, about half of all the consumers who purchased a given item online first looked at them in a brick-and-mortar store.[i] Additionally, two-thirds of smartphone owners use their mobile devices to assist their shopping decisions.[ii] This rising trend of showrooming is putting brick-and-mortar stores in a very unfortunate situation: shoppers are still making their way into the stores, demanding the time and attention of the sales staff, while the final sale is lost to an online competitor. Showrooming essentially allows online retailers to leverage the customer service of real-world retailers, while not having to put up any of the necessary labor costs that traditional retailers need to deal with. It drains vital labor resources from these stores while rewarding competitors at the same time, putting traditional stores at a double disadvantage to their online counterparts.
Despite the threat that showrooming represents for traditional retailers, these stores can still offer a number of important advantages, including the following:
- same day pickup
- no shipping fees
- convenient local maintenance and care
- easy financing
- easy returns and exchanges
If traditional retailers want to combat the increasing competition that they face from eCommerce businesses, they will need to find a way to leverage these key advantages. One of the easiest ways that traditional retailers can compete with strictly online retail stores is by offering their own eCommerce solutions. Whether developing simple customer self-service applications or extensive customer relationship management (CRM) systems, traditional retailers can offer some of the convenience of online shopping to their customers while also leveraging the advantages they have over online retailers. One of the simplest ways to drive online business to such stores is to offer scheduled, in-store pickup, which not only saves the customer time but also helps retailers manage their sales force for the most effective utilization of their labor.
Traditional retailers can also encourage more in-store sales by showing in-store availability of the products featured on their mobile eCommerce sites. Maintaining consistent prices and promotions between a retailer’s eCommerce site and their in-store inventory can also help preserve sales by these traditional retailers. Making sure that the store’s sales force is well-trained to explain the advantages of buying in-store can also help. Some retailers have even gone to the extent of using a hyperlocal proximity marketing solution. One retailer, for example, offers WiFi that connects mobile devices to its own mobile-compatible website first, encouraging smartphone-equipped shoppers to reconsider the advantages that in-store purchases represent.
No matter what method you may like to employ to combat showrooming in your store, you can rest assured that DDA has the capabilities to implement it. DDA has been developing mobile-compatible websites, online eCommerce solutions, Customer Relationship Management apps, and more since its inception. When you’re interested in finding out how you can combat the showrooming trend in your store, contact DDA.
[i] Aubrianalopez. “How Retailers Can Stomp Showrooming Before It Squashes Them.” May 15, 2012. Proximus. January 2, 2013. http://proximusmobility.com/how-retailers-can-stomp-showrooming-before-it-squashes-them/