Reduce showrooming to keep the sale

Not letting that transaction get away

By Rhian Harris

Aside from ‘big data’, showrooming is one of the latest terms coined for something we have been doing offline for years.

It is the latest way of saying ‘shopping around’ and we’re increasingly doing it through our mobiles and tablets to make sure we have the best deal.

To cut a long story short, we’re talking about shoppers using their mobile while in-store to compare prices at other retailers. 42% of smartphone owners admit to going online to check prices in-store.

What’s more, short of retailers insisting we leave our mobiles at the door, there’s no way to stop it.

So what can retailers do to combat it?

Price matchingJohn Lewis have been doing it for years, but keeping prices in line with major competitors (and reassuring customers) will prevent shoppers from looking elsewhere.

Virtual shops – not launched strictly for the purpose of showrooming, but beauty retailer, L’Occitane has developed its ‘Easy Shop’ app allowing shoppers to buy the top-selling products by scanning a poster. This could be used in stores to help shoppers avoid lengthy queues and purchase there and then. An additional incentive of free delivery could help to sway the consumers even further.  Though this would only really work where the business did not perceive the digital channel to be ‘taking sales’ from the retail sales.

Added funcitonality – using mobile technology in-store to offer ‘reserve and collect’, in-store kiosks and ‘pop-up shops’.

Free WiFi – although this may be seen to encourage showrooming, Tesco offered free internet access in return for shoppers entering their Clubcard details, allowing them to target offers and discounts.

QR codes – Coding in-store products to allow shoppers to visit the product pages online to find more information or compare to other products.

Perhaps QR codes finally have a use?!


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