In my former life as a music retail manager, I experienced the first taste of the phenomenon that we now know as showrooming. Kids would visit the specialist dance music store to sample cutting edge music they had heard DJs playing on the weekend. Then they would go and download it from Napster. Since then iTunes has changed music retail forever and the increase in Smartphone adoption is reshaping retail as we know it. Ask any retail clerk or just check out all of the dedicated apps available and it should come as no surprise that the future of retail includes showrooming.
There is no point in businesses fighting it. The only way forward is to grab the bull by the horns and leverage consumer’s evolving shopping habits to maintain and grow market share. It’s technology and consumer behavior that is leading the change, so new strategies need to be developed inline with current trends. Here are five competitive tactics to adopt that will help increase market share and stimulate sales:
Whether you like it or not, price matching is the primary driver behind showrooming. If you can make it clear to your customers (even online before they visit the store) that you have a competitive price matching process, it will not only deter showrooming but will give consumers an extra reason to shop in your store(s).
Promote Your Own Mobile Site or App
If you don’t have a mobile friendly m-Commerce enabled site or app, you can’t blame consumers for heading to a merchant that does. Make it easy and inviting with QR codes and promotions for your clients to interact with and browse your online property. Especially while they are shopping in-store.
Offer Free Wi-Fi
Have you ever been to the Apple store to use the free Wi-Fi? Those stores are always busy and they sell a lot of product. Guess what? You can buy all that product online, yet the stores are always busy. Your customers will be grateful that they’re not chewing up their own data plan and while using your Wi-Fi you can encourage them to visit your site or app for greater interaction and engagement.
Offer Something Unique
This won’t be possible for all retailers, but if you can offer a product, promotion or service that consumers can only get from you and your brand, there will be no reason or opportunity for showrooming. Even something as simple as a Facebook competition promoting a unique product will attract new business, drive sales and eliminate shopping around.
Provide Remarkable Customer Service
Remarkable customer service is something that shoppers can’t get from an app or an online competitor’s site (for now). It’s one of the primary reasons that they will physically visit your store(s). If the service really is remarkable, your visitors will be more inclined to make a purchase in-store, come back again and recommend your brand.
Popular online sites like The Iconic are now offering 3 hour delivery and Google Shopping Express is currently trialing free delivery. Let’s embrace showrooming because it’s not going away and it’s getting people into the stores. Competition is tough and it’s time to give the consumers reasons to spend their hard earned money with you. The customer experience will ultimately determine where they make a purchase. So focusing on that experience has never been more important.
Is showrooming impacting your brand? How are you changing the way you do business to correspond with consumer behavior? Our readers would love to hear your ideas to help improve their revenue streams. Please leave a comment below and consider sharing this article to help bricks and mortar businesses thrive. Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing.
Check out these showrooming: statistics