Showrooming has become a distinct form of trade in this digital world. Showrooming simply means that the customers show up in the physical shop to see or try out the product, after which they go home and order the product from the internet. This is something most retailers know about, and many see it as a big threat for the turnover in the physical shops. The customers have become experts, as many check out prices and functions before making a purchase, which can either take place from home or in the shop via their smartphones. With the great variety of products today, we feel an urge to investigate whether or not we’re buying the right product, which covers exactly our needs. This may be in the form of user-friendliness or the functions in the product, but also in the symbolic status, which a product can have. In order to get confirmed that the product is the right one, many customers choose to visit the physical shop as well in order to see the product and get professional guidance.
Here the customers would like to get confirmed that their own research was well performed, and that they now have the ‘right’ product in their hands. This situation of purchase behaviour makes great demands on the staff, as the customers expect qualified service. If the customer gets the feeling of knowing more about the product than the staff, it will often become such a big element of irritation that customer leaves the shop without buying the product. Exactly lack of knowledge, service, or selection of products are often the reason for the customer leaving again emptyhanded.
The number of showrooms will only increase, and as a retailer you have to consider how to handle them. Today, only a relatively small part is still showrooming compared to the shops total turnover. This is exactly why it is important to begin considering how you wish to accommodate the showroomers as a retailer, before it becomes too late. As a retailer you know that the showroomers are interested in the products, which they are examine and being advised about – therefore, the chances of a sale are also bigger than with any other random customer. In this case talented sales skills, a good price, or extra service may lead to a sale. You can easily get something positive out of having showroomers visiting, as 58% of them are on social networks at least once a day, and half of them write positive recommendations and spread the good news. In that way they can be contributing to creating an increased interest in the shop – even if the showroomer may ended up not buying the product in the shop after all.
A showroomer don’t always focus on the price, as many people may think. The quality of products, service around products, and package deals may shift the focus from the price. More than half of the showroomers are interested in purchasing in the shop if they find useful information in the shop via their smartphones or via a tablet available in the shop.
The reasons for the showroomers purchasing in the shop are as follows:
● 59% need the products right away
● 53% didn’t want to wait for the delivery of an online purchase
● 52% found it easier to buy the product and bring it home right away
● 48% were more interested in buying products in a physical shop, where they were members
of a customer club rather than buying online – even if the price is lower on the internet
Instead of seeing the showroomers as a threat to the retail business, see them as a chance to increase the sales, which is possible provided you handle it correctly. There are different ways to handle the showroomer such as price match, private label, loyalty programs, follow-up service, and experiences. The latter, i.e. experiences, is what we can help you with at Risom Design.
As mentioned previously, the physical shops have the advantage that they have the customer on site and can provide a good experience and service. The best way to create a good experience is if the decorating and the frames of the shop are inviting and create a whole around the products offered. It is no longer a matter of just handing products over the desk. The staff must act to a greater extend as advisors in exquisite frames, where the customers would like to spend their time. The retailers must have something to lure the customers down to the shop, and it may be a good idea to alter small arrangements or exhibitions continuously, so the customers get a new experience every time they visit the shop.
There are several reasons for the showroomers to purchase in the shop. The most frequent reason is that the customer needs the products right away and won’t wait for the delivery from an online purchase. Some customers find it easier, as they can see and touch the product and take it home right away. Members of a customer club are more loyal and don’t think so much of the price, as they get a sense of belonging to the shop.