“Showrooming” — shoppers check out the product in person at the brick and mortar store, then use smart phones to shop online for a better deal. The storefront isn’t in business to be a flesh and blood catalog for the virtual store.
Michael Stevens at MarketingProfs.com has a post about the issue and some excellent suggestions for the brick and mortar stores to save their business. Six Ways to Combat “ShowRooming”
Of course the stores could compete on price — That would seem to be the motivation for the showrooming activity. No doubt in today’s environment of mindful spending —”It is about the prices, Stupid.” We see some major retailers offering to match/beat any price. That thinking can work; but there are other customer reward strategies that can be planned. Advertising extras so that the customer knows about them before making the buying decision using a smart phone. These impulsive decisions are immune to ‘in the moment’ dealing. Most American shoppers won’t start haggling and by the time the retailer realizes a customer is ‘shopping’ it is late in the transaction process — maybe too late.
Stevens’ article details some interesting strategies that retailers can use which do get them into the competitive level with some power; just cutting prices is like racing downhill; stopping can be impossible and disaster is lurking at the bottom. The rewards that Stevens mentions gratify something in your customer besides the pocketbook.