Make Showrooming Work For You

Posted by Keith Warden on November 5, 2013

In our previous post, I discussed some simple ideas to make showrooming work for your business and help reduce the fears you may have about the process. In this post, we’ll tackle some of the other issues surrounding showrooming.

Man Scanning Product Using Bar Code Reader On Smart Phone

Price isn’t always king

The economy has led to large-scale penny pinching. But for some consumers, price sensitivity is non-existent or more easily overruled by gratification. Showrooming done right can boost sales by volume and by basket size.

Instant gratification is the fuel for sales among a large cross section of consumers, but for others, price is king. As always, considered purchases typically mean increased price sensitivity. Some shoppers, no matter what the level of consideration, sacrifice convenience for the lowest price. Be prepared.

Many retailers already have price-matching policies in place. If you’re one that does, apply it to your omnichannel commerce strategy and stand behind your promise. If a customer indicates that your competitor has it for less, match their price and keep your customer your customer. In this case, you would be “combatting” showrooming in a sense, but your focus is really satisfying the customer.

Mobile devices: Not just in the hands of customers

Another advantage that retail stores provide is sales associates – real, live human beings that can assist customers. Sales associates can have a positive impact on customers’ shopping experience, an experience that is worth paying attention to in order to keep that customer.

Sales associates can positively impact the shopping experience if you’ve equipped them with the technology and time to do so. One of the easiest tech devices that sales associates can use is likely already in their pocket -- their smartphone. Using in-store wi-fi, your sales associates can use their own phone to assist customers in finding what they need, including checking in-store and online inventory.

Going a step further, if you provide the mobile device, you can equip it with the technology that allows you to close a sale and process purchases from anywhere on the sales floor. That makes it easy for the customer. They’ve got what they wanted and they didn’t have to wait in a checkout line.

One more thing to consider: Delivery

Shrinking or even eliminating the delivery gap is a key concern. If you’re able to provide next-day delivery – either home or in-store -- you’re doing great. If you’re able to provide on-the-spot delivery, you’re doing even better. Yet again, your retail locations give you an advantage.

Retail locations can serve as smaller distribution centers to fulfill orders received through the showrooming process. With multiple centers in a given area, a product can be pulled from the closest one to the customer and delivered to them the same day to wherever they’ve selected, be it at home or their office.

Taking it one step closer, how about in-store delivery to in-store customers? It’s taking the “can you check the backroom?” idea and using it to your advantage. For example, showroom a smaller amount of any given product, and keep the larger stock in backroom inventory. If a customer wants a color or size not on the showroom floor, it’s pulled and brought to them. What’s the benefit in this type of system?

  • You’ve allowed your on-floor associates time to focus on serving customers instead of constantly stocking, sorting and tidying up the sales floor.
  • Shrinking the amount of any given product displayed on the sales floor allows you to increase the variety of products showroomed.
  • You’re focused on enhancing the customers’ shopping experience. You’ve satisfied them and provided an extra level of personal service to them, which wins you the sale and sets the stage for repeat sales in the future.

What are your thoughts about showrooming? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet your responses using the hashtag #mcgblog.