Showrooming is the most common name for a developing trend in retail marketing. When customers visit a brick-and-mortar store to try on or test drive a product and then leave the store to complete their purchase online, they are showrooming. The reason for making the final purchase online is normally a lower price. There is a growing concern among many retailers that showrooming will quickly have an increased impact on their bottom line.
Turn this potentially negative marketing trend into an opportunity by creating an experience in your retail store that adds so much value that it cannot be replaced by a website.
Create a wonderful environment to experience. IKEA creates such a unique and exciting environment that many IKEA fans in Colorado would actually plan vacations to visit the closest physical location in Utah. Whole Foods takes considerable care to make the experience of visiting one of its markets an entertaining and inspirational experience for food fans. At Webolutions, guests to our office enjoy massage chairs, gourmet snacks and freshly-prepared lattes. Other Webolutions’ clients bake cookies for their guests, have a play area set aside for kids, or send special fruit pies to celebrate a completed project. Properly labeled and organized gondola shelving can improve product visibility and enable customers to find what they need independently. What can you add to make a visit to your location an experience that cannot be duplicated?
Customers who have their smartphones out may be looking to buy. Engage someone who is busy on their phone and see what has brought them into your store. If they are showrooming, they are beyond doing research or “just browsing” and are looking to make a purchase. Take the opportunity to engage face-to-face and cross-sell additional products and services that make sense.
Help customers make the correct decision. Turn your customer service team into a competitive edge by focusing on consultative selling. Electronics is a category where there are so many product features to consider that a knowledgeable in-store customer service experience will often outweigh a small discount from an online retailer. Ongoing training to develop sales skills and product knowledge for your staff is the best way to maximize this asset. When your team thoroughly understands the products they sell and are encouraged to take time to find the right fit for each customer through discussion and engagement, customers leave feeling confident in their selection.
Use face-to-face contact to build customer confidence. Taking time to make a customer feel comfortable about what they are buying make your retail location the solution to one of online retail’s biggest negative traits: the fear of the unknown. The need to interact physically with products is why customers are showrooming in the first place. Most anyone you know has a story about buying something online that failed to live up to their expectations. Whether their purchase arrived poorly packaged or was the wrong size or color, there is an element of the risk online.
What This Information Means to Your Business
Showrooming is here to stay, so focus on what you add to your client’s lives that cannot be duplicated online. Create an in-person experience that customers will go out of their way to be a part of. This new competitive advantage can be built around:
- A creative and fun environment
- Personal service
- Available and knowledgeable staff
- Instant gratification (go home with your purchase)
Give us a call at 720-746-2732 to discuss how you can develop an amazing experience in your physical location. Webolutions offers a free initial consultation.