Showrooming: How Retailers Can Take Advantage

Photo credit: iFredster Photography

When you hear the word "showrooming", what comes to mind? Like many, you may not even know what it means. But guess what? There is a good chance you are a culprit. On the other side of things, most retailers are more than familiar with the concept of showrooming and what it means to their business.

Showrooming is nothing more than a shopper who visits a store to test or examine a product before buying online or at another destination. As you can imagine, this is both a good and a bad thing for retailers. In some cases, it means that shoppers are visiting the store with no intention of buying. On the other hand, with the right approach, some retailers are finding ways to turn "showroomers" into buying customers.

For a better idea of just how big this trend has become, TNS Global created a killer infographic detailing everything from where this is most common to who is doing it and much more.

taking advantage of showrooming infographic

Click here to view full infographic

The first thing that you need to know is how many people are showrooming on a regular basis. According to TNS Global, this number stands at roughly 33 percent worldwide. Retailers in some regions are struggling with this more than others. For example, 44 percent of people in developed Asia are practicing the act of showrooming. This is nearly one out of every two shoppers.

Some retailers have taken rather aggressive steps to fight showrooming in their stores. For example, consider the following story: Store Charges $5 'Showrooming' Fee to Looky-Loos. You read that right--a store in Australia, Celiac Supplies, is charging a $5 fee for those who are “just looking.” While the money is refunded if a purchase is made, those who walk out with nothing will never see the cash again. A pretty aggressive strategy, to say the least. But there are other (customer-friendly) ways that you can not only combat showrooming but also take advantage of it.

How Retailers Can Benefit From Showroomers

While some retailers are fighting against showrooming, others realize this is something they can use to their advantage. With more than 20 percent of people showrooming with their phone in hand, it makes perfect sense for retailers to take advantage of technology as a means of increasing sales and keeping shoppers in store.

Did you know that 43 percent of people use their phone to read reviews while in the store? With this in mind, your store can implement the use of QR codes to provide more product information and/or reviews to your customers on the spot. Did you know that 31 percent of shoppers are using their phone to compare prices? Once again, there is a solution: offer your customers mobile coupons to ensure them that they are getting a great deal. And as with any business, customer service is key. If a customer receives great customer service and is confident that any questions or problems in the future will be handled, they are more likely to buy from you, no matter how much cheaper they can get that item online.

At the end of the infographic from TNS Global, there is a snippet of text that says it all: "Mobile is not the enemy. It’s an opportunity to engage with people and nudge them towards the cash register."

mobile showrooming quote

Final Word

Some retailers see showrooming as a bad thing while others realize the opportunity staring them in the face. This trend is only going to continue to grow, so it would be best for retailers of all sizes, from one side of the globe to the next, to devise a strategy for taking advantage.

If you would like help in creating an effective digital marketing strategy for your business, please contact us.

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