17 Oct Fight or Embrace Showrooming? (3/3)
“We have met the enemy and it is us” -The Pogo Papers
Possible solutions for showrooming and how we can measure it:
- Offering free Wi-Fi in the store apparently “allows customers to do additional research in the store in a way that is convenient for them” (MediaPost Free WiFi Helps In-Store Sales http://www.mediapost.com/) and has been found to help increase store sales. This is counter-intuitive, but makes sense, especially if the online activity shows that the prices are very competitive, product is recommend, and other possible add-ons. Retailers should be very price competitive on the big items, but offer great added value elements at higher margins that aren’t available from the competition. The goal is to increase the basket size.
- Target has fully integrated their digital and brick & mortar presences. In addition to price matching Target has begun to offer in-store baby advisors and beauty concierges to improve the overall quality perception of the in-store experience. They’re also offering more opportunities in the store to touch and see their offerings. Lastly, they are partnering with suppliers to make certain experiences are offered to elevate their brands.
- “58 percent of smartphone owners regularly go to a store with the sole intention of trying on or testing products before buying them online.” (The Battle for Sales: Five Reasons Showrooming Will Always Win (http://www.itbusinessedge.com/). If the majority of shoppers are in the store to try and test the product before purchasing online, retailers must be very upfront about the benefits available to the shopper about purchasing then and there in the store. Could a mobile POS, combined with price matching make the sale easy, now?
- Train sales teams in the highly considered product aisles on how best to approach customers with their smartphones.
- More than three-quarters (78%) of smartphone owners said they had looked up a retailer’s inventory online prior to visiting a physical store (MediaPost Free WiFi Helps In-Store Sales http://www.mediapost.com/). Retailers must emphasize their advantages. Differentiate themselves from death and online purchases, “you can take it with you”, or returns are super easy.
- “Consumers feel more confident making major purchases in store (including consumer electronics) after reviewing products online,” Rein says. “In fact, only 3.7% of smartphone owners noted that they do not do research online prior to making a major purchase in store.” (MediaPost Free WiFi Helps In-Store Sales http://www.mediapost.com/). If customers are in the store, they’re ready to purchase. They are fully informed and may have some very specific questions that they couldn’t get answered online. Offer a hotline to the brand’s call center, or develop a retailer hotline that can answer the higher end questions – while the customer is in the store.
- Use QR codes to allow the customer to take advantage of in-store buy-now coupons. Highlight them as a key differentiator to buy now, versus waiting for online ordering/delayed delivery. Incentives with warranties, loyalty points, other shopping basket items (e.g., 10% off other accompanying items), etc.
- Price-matching dynamics: “Just a small price difference of $5 will motivate shoppers to buy online rather than in-store.” Dynamic Pricing in a Smartphone World: A Shopper Showrooming Study (http://promos.parago.com)
- Offer convenience, installation, delivery, etc. (Smartphone Shoppers Look for Convenience) http://www.mediapost.com/
- Of course, we’re assuming the website is optimized for mobile
- Use smartphone discounts as a way to progressively gather personal information in order to provide future, highly tailored offers and notifications.
“We love showrooming—when Target gets to book the sale.” Casey Carl: Why Retailers Can Win at Showrooming (http://www.abullseyeview.com)
Let me know if you have any other actions retailers can take to win while embracing showrooming.