Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Thank God for Showrooming!

Showrooming takes place when a consumer examines a product in a traditional offline store, but then chooses to buy it from an online retailer at a lower price.

Showrooming is percieved as a threat by many traditional retailers. Their side of the story is that consumers research online to come down to a shortlist of products, and then go to a brick and mortar store in order to see and touch the products to help them make a decision, after which they go home and order it online, or while instore by using their smartphone.

So how can I thank God for showrooming???

Well, you could look at it from another standpoint. The fact that consumers inspired by some internet retailer that have invested good marketing money and made them come to your store, with an intention to buy a product that you carry. That is that someone else has triggered a buying process that has led to that you get visitors eager to examine your merchanise. After all, life could be worse.
The trick is to make them shop while in the store instead of letting them out with empty hands. 

1.Sob, sob. Stop whining about the good old pre-internet days. Online retailing is not to blame if you loose business. You are, for not keeping pace with development. If online shopping wouldn´t kill you, another competitor will. New concepts and offerings has been a part of retailing the last 200 years. Products and categories flows in and out of

2.They are in your store. Why not make them buy?! Focus on what online is not.

 - Touching and feeling the products is the key to trigger sales. That is why Apple store have everything on easy to touch displays.
- Human touch is a winner no matter if you are a sales person or recruiter for the Marine Corps. People that touches others are percieved as warmer, and more trustworthy than others. An online retailer could never do that.
- The product is available right away. No shipping, no charges and no delay. Even if there is a minor price difference between you and the online retailer, the odds are on your side.
- Even if they leave without having bought the object of desire that originally triggered the visit, there are still hundreds of possibilities that they end up shopping something else. If not, your store probably was´nt so tempting and you will soon be out of business anyway.

3. No, you probably can´t beat online when it comes to price. But if the price difference is to big, you will have to compete with something else:

-       Extended guarantees
-       Home delivery
-       Payment solutions
-       Store environment
-       Service package

4. Make your own online presence in synk with your offline experience. Easy to search, easy to choose, easy to buy.

5. Experiment, invent and re-invent. Retail has never been an easy business. New competitors have taken market shares from the old ones since the dawn of retailing and there is only one way to react. By constant change and re-invention. Lift would have been that way even if the internet would´nt have been invented.