Showrooming is becoming a common phenomenon in the world of Retail. The massive smartphone explosion has enabled consumers to search, research, compare prices, transact, review and seek comments from peers on social networks and has irreversibly transformed the way consumers shop. This has led to the showrooming phenomenon that allows consumers to gather information, examine and try merchandise in brick-and-mortar retail stores and then buy it online after comparing prices offered by the competitors.
As per a recent TNS report, 33 per cent of people globally showroom and two-thirds use their phone whilst doing so. Retailers continue to focus on driving m-commerce, but given the large and growing impact of mobile devices on traditional sales, retailers should change their approach. While price is always a consideration, it is the seamless integration and high quality shopping experience on-the-go that matter the most to the consumer. This entails retailers to stay constantly connected with the consumers and sustain a conversation to obtain a top-of-the mind recall.
Combat ‘showrooming’ trend
Retailers, by giving good reasons to customers to come and visit stores and by using in-store technologies, can counteract the phenomenon. For instance, retailers can help the shoppers by providing a QR code at each of the aisles, connected to the web-link of the product line to educate shoppers and complete the purchase cycle. Providing in-store apps, loyalty programs, customized coupons and offers, which are not available online, will not just engage customers but help combat showrooming.
A partnership with brand advertisers and tablet-based content publishers can help retailers identify and target readers who are most likely to become consumers. As per a recent GFK study, 52 per cent of readers who noticed interactive tablet ads were persuaded to take an action. Besides, customer experience – in-store as well as online – needs to be integrated and optimized to maximize business results.
In order to stand out in the socially integrated world, retailers should focus on developing a mobile strategy, understand the newly developed shopping behavior and create engaging experiences tailored to consumer needs.