A customer walks into the store, checks out the items, and tries on a shoe to see if it fits. Then they spend 30 minutes getting help to choose the right design and bombard the salesperson for details about different types of sports shoes. They politely thank the staff, check their phones to search for the same item at a lower price, and walk out the door.
Any retail business owner dreads this scenario called “showrooming”.
What is Showrooming?
Showrooming is when customers browse a retailer’s product only to purchase it elsewhere for a lower price. This phenomenon goes beyond physical stores – even e-commerce sites find that users will leverage the site’s expertise and effort before they eventually buy from another vendor.
How Small Retailers Can Combat Showrooming
Best Buy has a reputation for being the showrooming poster child, and has been even dubbed as “The Amazon Showroom”. But they fight back through a very effective strategy: price matching. Start monitoring major non-web-based and web-based retailers using a price monitoring software, and either match or come close to their price levels.
This may be a risky tactic, but it’s effective. It affects your bottom line. Fortunately, there’s a remedy – don’t do price matching alone; combine it with other tactics. For instance, hire knowledgeable salespeople. Customers would choose to go to your store to get help from people who really know what they’re talking about. You might also want to collaborate with showrooming apps and build fancy in-store boutiques.
In addition, focus on customer experience. Move away from the traditional way of selling things. Make shopping modern, more fun, and more attractive, or include technology in your story by digitalizing them with trendy features.
Showrooming is evitable. But as long as you know what it is, understands how it works, why it happens, and do something, you can drive this phenomenon in your favor.