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Originally posted 2014-07-25 11:00:23.
By Christina Severino | amdlawgroup.com
Showrooming, What is it?
“Showrooming” is an emerging trend and chronic problem for brick-and-mortar retailers everywhere. Consumers who “showroom” will browse and test new products in store but then purchase the product online from another retailer, often at a lower price.
Don’t fall victim to Showrooming!
Follow these steps to protect your business!
1. Focus on strengthening your brand:
Offering consumers an impressionable and exciting shopping experience will incentivize them to frequent your store and ultimately make a purchase. Ways to strengthen your brand include offering great customer service, a unique curb appeal, and a staff trained to make positive interactions with customers. Always remember that shopping is oftentimes a form of entertainment for people, not just another errand. If consumers only ever shopped for the sake of running errands, they would just go straight to their computers and purchase online. They still want the experience of making a day to shop as an activity, and the best way to ensure they come back and make the purchase is to make it memorable.
2. Offer exclusive products:
Another way to reduce “showrooming” in your store is to develop exclusive products that no other retailer would carry. Using this technique will allow you to focus your attention on other aspects of your business while avoiding pricing wars among competitors. Examples of large retailers who have been successful with this technique include Target and Toys ‘R’ Us.
3. Consider offering a loyalty program (with caution):
Personalized coupons or VIP and early-access promotions may help you develop a loyal following, thus reducing “showrooming”. However, all of this success should not come with the sacrifice of losing out on your profit margins. Substantial discounts and awards may thwart your bottom line. Find a balance if you go this route.
4. Take heed of price matching:
Many retailers thrive on price matching as a selling point. Retailers such as Best Buy and Walmart are well known for offering price matching incentives when a competitor is offering near exact or exact products at a lower price. Some retailers even price match on products consumers find online. Depending on the types of products your store offers, this may be a viable option, especially since the main culprit in “showrooming” is lower prices.
5. Take the leap into Cyberspace:
If all else fails, maybe opening your own store-front online may serve your best interests. Maybe you have unique products and competitive prices but you’re still not seeing improvements. Maybe your business just needs more exposure, and the internet may be the best way to capture the attention of the expanding cyber-marketplace. There are so many opportunities for growth domestically and internationally, and the World Wide Web is waiting for you to join in!