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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 08, 2012

How retailers can convert showroomers

The question is rampant amongst brick-and-mortar retailers: how do we combat showrooming? The simple answer, according to two experts, is not to stop showrooming but to change the way the retailer reacts to showroomers. In other words, its about figuring out what the showrooming shopper wants and offering a solution.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Why shouldn't retailers 'fight' the showrooming trend?

Millie Park, Vice President and General Manager, ChoiceStream: Consumers are going to continue to use their mobile devices wherever they may be, and that includes on the floor of a retail store. So instead of fighting the trend, retailers need to embrace the mobile channel and assure that when consumers access their mobile devices in stores, they access the brand's website as the primary source for relevant information. Retailers need to differentiate themselves to develop loyalty, so that consumers don't drive decisions merely on price. Services, add-ons, personalization, convenience, breadth of selection, consumer education...all ways to make and keep a consumer loyal.

Kristina: What should they do instead?

Millie: Retailers need to take the time to get to know what motivates and captivates consumers online and via their mobile devices. Here at ChoiceStream, we work with a number of leading retailers helping provide personalized recommendations in mobile environments that are driving more sales and engagement. If retail marketers embrace the mobile channel and offer personally relevant offers, they'll be more meaningful and impactful: perhaps even driving more sales for the brick-and-mortar channel from in those very stores.

Eric Bosco, Chief Operating Officer, ChoiceStream: How do you allow or support showrooming, but not lose business to it? Good question! Presumably, in showrooming, consumers are seeing (and feeling) a product on the shelf, then searching for a better price online. They use several channels and techniques in this searching. So what is a retailer to do? 1) have the lowest prices 2) appear with the lowest prices at the top of the search when consumers search in competitive stores 3) be known for value other than price such as service, support, guidance in making the best selection and 4) allow the consumer to get it now. In your own store or in a search from a competing store, be sure the customer knows you have it in stock to be carried home immediately. All consumers like immediate gratification and are willing to pay a bit more to get it.

Tags: ecommerce, mobile marketing, mobile shopping trends, showrooming

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