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How to combat showrooming in your store
There is a new trend in retail: shoppers coming into stores, researching products and then leaving to make a purchase online. While this practice isn't a great thing for retailers, there are ways to engage those consumers in-store and combat the trend.
Kristina: What is showrooming - and why is this not a great thing for traditional retailers?
Jordan Socran, Vice President of Business Development, Radialpoint: Traditionally, [showrooming] pits the brick-and-mortar retailer against the online retailer, but both are sensitive to consumers using their store or website for information purposes and then buying elsewhere. Any consumer armed with a smartphone is a click away from dozens of price comparisons and product information available in real-time.
Kristina: What can traditional retailers do to combat showrooming?
Jordan: Deliver better customer experience and value-added services, such as remote support. Connected devices are penetrating consumers' lives at a rapid pace. By definition, maximizing the value of any connected device requires getting it to work alongside other devices. This ecosystem of connected devices requires support, including help with setup, usage, management, and technical support - services that add value to any retailer's value proposition.
Martin Hayward, Director of Marketing, Mirror Image Internet: Price-comparison shopping has been happening as long as retail-as-we-know-it has existed. The difference now is that consumers have powerful devices at their fingertips to compare products and features on the go.
Retailers now have an opportunity to send push notifications (coupons, discounts, etc.) to consumers - in-store and in real-time - that are relevant based on purchase history. For example, To deter showrooming, it was reported that Target Corp. earlier this year pushed its suppliers to offer exclusive products that couldn't be found elsewhere. It also has quadrupled the number of items available online and is sending special coupons directly to customers' mobile phones. (Source:WSJ, April 11, 2012) In addition, smart brands will enable sales representatives at retail locations to counteract showrooming by letting consumers redeem competitive digital coupons in-store on their mobile devices in their stores.
More from Jordan and Martin Monday, including their tips to use 'showrooming' to a retailer's advantage.
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