With the huge majority of Australian shoppers today having immediate access to the net via their telephones, the tradition of’showrooming’ in retail is commonplace. But there are loads of ways retailers can minimise the threat.
Showrooming happens when customers see a physical retail store, assess the appearance and feel of a product, then leave and purchase the exact same product from an internet competition — presumably for a more affordable price.
In a recent poll by Smart Company, almost a third of Aussie shoppers admit to showrooming, while a further 14% say they’d have previously had they thought of it.
Bricks and mortar store retailers will need to ensure they are conscious of the dangers and motorists of showrooming and have systems and strategies in place to mitigate it happening.
Below are some of the very best ways you can combat this tendency or, better still, make it work in your favor.
1. Know the Drivers — Planned vs. Reactive
An important first step is to understand why shop visitors are participating in showrooming. This will allow you establish an appropriate and relevant strategy in response.
Sands says instances of willful’showrooming’ — or price comparison stores — are less common and mostly affect bulk product retailers where goods are highly commoditised and high priced (so a reduced price can mean a nice saving).
While this site shows, in-store shopping remains definitely the most preferred choice over purchasing online for Australian & New Zealand consumers. This is a result of the fact that shoppers perceive they could complete the purchasing process and receive their goods quicker and easier by visiting a shop. They can try and purchase the identical day in-store whereas purchasing online entails buying without touching the goods, paying and waiting for home delivery and possibly risking the work and shipping costs of returning goods.
If bricks and mortar retailers can effectively market and deliver on the ease and immediate product availability advantages of in-store purchasing then their risk of showrooming is radically reduced.
It can also make sense to participate in price matching strategies — especially if your goods are highly commoditised and higher ticket items. Even if they are not, it can make sense for many retailers to develop some kind of price matching policy where price is a considerable portion of the merchandise purchasing decision. That way they could minimise the possibility of losing a percentage of the sales. For many retailers however, price matching alone is not going to cut it if this is not backed up by a handy in-store experience where inventory is available and staff have the ability to rapidly solve all the clients needs then an internet purchase from a competitor could win the purchase.
2. Deliver an Outstanding In-Store Expertise
Engaging, Expert Store Staff
Part of the appeal of this in-store experience is the ability to find expert advice and knowledge from the own staff. Store employees will need to always deliver personalised, engaging and expert service whenever and where customers interact together. So you need make sure that your employees are able build rapport and react to a wide selection of customer queries about every item.
Product Availability, Choice & Unique Solutions
While providing an engaging, enjoyable and satisfying experience is critical, if you do not introduce a relevant product solution for what the shopper really stepped in-store for then you will still lose out on the sale. Customers want to attempt to purchase the products today. Having the ideal product selection available and appropriate inventory levels in all your stores is crucial. But it is still among the most frequent failures we see from Australian and New Zealand retail. Understocking contributes to a drastic amount of lost sales. Effective, data-driven stock optimization systems will need to be set up to combat this.
If you do not have the specific item in stock, store employees will need to have the ability to diagnose the clients requirements and present the alternate product solutions/options for them. Store staff need to have the ability to ask the correct questions to rapidly identify their product needs and present the proper cross-sell items.
Among the simplest ways to fight showrooming is to provide products which are not available anywhere else. Not only does this remove the threat that clients will find the identical product at a lower price on a competitor’s site, but special products will drive more visitors to your shop, offering additional opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling.
Using Mobile POS to Win The Sale
An increasing number of retailers are exploring using mobile POS solutionsto allow customer support staff to escape from behind the service desk and to the showroom.
In a recent poll , 52.8percent of shoppers said they search out in-store staff that take pills meaning that they need your team to be armed with the best technology.
Staff can provide a more personalized, one-on-one experience that will also cause more chances for cross-sells and up-sells. A mobile Point of Sale system with smart product search and recommendations will enable your employees to quickly hone in on the ideal choices and close the sale. The system will identify appropriate alternatives once the shoppers wanted product is from stock in addition to identify the right up-sell and cross-sell items. With an innovative solution like ConnectPOS, your employees will have access to more than just what is on their shop floor — they could see in real time what’s available in different shops and organize inventory transfers from other outlets for home delivery or store pickup. You may even incorporate in-store screen browsing containing all inventory across your shop network that the client can then navigate themselves and make quick purchases.
3. Embrace Omni-channel
While shoppers still prefer in-store shopping, bricks and mortar retailers still have to develop a comprehensive electronic existence. By creating a professional eCommerce site, shoppers can opt to see your store to try out the merchandise and make their purchase online after (if they prefer home delivery or would like to make the purchase at a later date). Providing customers with the utmost choice on how they buy from you is always likely to decrease the likelihood that they purchase the merchandise from a competitor.
Shoppers often start their purchasing journey on the internet, using the net and mobile to locate nearby retailers offering the best products and the fastest, easiest way to find them.
By providing a well-designed Click & Collect system and Stock In Store feature, your potential customers have a way to ensure a neighborhood shop has inventory available and see so that they can find the products they want the identical day. This provides bricks and mortar retailers with a way to differentiate and compete against pure-play online brands by providing consumers faster access and also a cost saving on home delivery prices.
4. Provide Incentives to Regularly Return To Your Store
Retailers will need to present a reason to return. It’s important to lure customers with over a transactional sell. Provide free support, follow-ups, exclusive loyalty benefits, and add-ons for clients if they return and make another purchase. Advanced CRM, loyalty and promotion systems will need to be set up to make this happen.
5. Produce a Price Matching Policy — If Appropriate…
A price-matching policy removes the impetus of showrooming since clients know they can purchase a product from you for the same price that an internet store will deliver. You secure the purchase and the customer gets to walk away with this item. It is a win-win that builds loyalty to your brand because shoppers appreciate you will go the extra mile to secure their habit.
How Vast Furniture & Homewares Is Turning The Tables on Showrooming with Mobile POS
1 Australian company achieving substantial success in using technology to fight showrooming is furniture and homewares retailer, Vast Furniture & Homewares.
Franchise owner, Chad Sawtell has equipped his client support staff with cellular tablets running the ConnectPOS POS and Inventory Management Solution, which allows them to engage with clients on the showroom floor instead of being trapped behind the counter. Sawtell said the debut of ConnectPOS on tablet apparatus has decreased walkaways by 10 percent, which represents an additional $100,000 in revenue per year.
“We work hard to offer shoppers an outstanding customer experience. ConnectPOS is the backbone of the approach since it enables us to answer all their questions regarding pricing, stock availability and delivery times immediately,” he said.
“The point where people are most willing to hand over their money is when they see something they like, thus we do whatever we can to take the discount mentality from the equation and close the transaction.”
“With ConnectPOS in our hands, we take away all of the reasons why they may want to delay. You need a different colour? No problem. We now have these options available. Can not afford it? You may put down $200 today and pay off the rest with time. Allow me to show you how our payment plan functions. By answering all their questions right there on the mobile pill computer, we could close the sale and then,” he explained.
►►► ConnectPOS is a cloud-based POS software compatible with multiple platforms including Magento, Shopify & Shopify Plus, and BigCommerce.
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