16 Oct Fight or Embrace Showrooming? (2/3)
“You have to know the bug to defeat the bug” paraphrased from Starship Troopers.
Showrooming doesn’t take place in all cases. There are a handful of product areas and price ranges where consumers are more likely than not to engage in showrooming. I break them down as follows:
- Cars and items in the $10Ks. Certainly for a new car purchase, going to the dealership is critical to get the feel of a car. I wanted very much at one point to buy an Audi TT. I would have, except that I didn’t fit. Being over 6 foot tall, ruled me out. This couldn’t have been solved without going into the store. But I would have definitely afterward searched for the lowest price in the area, whether it was online or in the dealership. No sense in wasting money. Shopping for best price is de rigeur.
- Electronics in the $100s to low $1000s. Here if a few percent can be saved online v. in-store v. in-store with the competition is worth looking. The savings are worth a bottle of wine or at least a dinner at a moderate restaurant. So why not shop around?
- White goods and appliances in the $100s to low $1000s. White goods/appliances are generally simple (although some washer/dryer combinations have become incredibly complex). Similar issues to electronics although the retailer’s extended warranty may be important.
- Items in the $10s. Here it would be hard for me to believe consumers would showroom, but if the price difference is high enough it would be worth the gas or the risk of a returns policy to go to another store, or to purchase a handful of them.
- Consumer Packaged Goods in the $1s to $10. Not expecting much showrooming for pricing, but would expect that every once in a while a feature and functionality check would be done. If there were another brand or a stock-out, then it would make sense to get that information at one store and then go to another store for a better price. Otherwise the savings wouldn’t seem to warrant the time or the gas.
Looking at services, there is very little brick and mortar shopping for services so in the meantime it would be great to get your feedback. I would love to hear what you think.