Showrooming is a relatively new concept in the world of retail shopping, but it’s one that’s harming many real-world businesses. The term describes when an online shopper visits a retail store in order to view a product that they intend to later buy online.
A recent study by IBM shows that it’s on the rise. In fact, a whopping 50% of online sales are driven by showrooming.
It’s likely that the increase in popularity of mobile decides is a factor, since they make it easier than ever to do an instant price check. Why buy in a store now when you can wait a few days and have the same product delivered to your door for less money?
The practice has become a problem for many retail industries, and even though electronic stores such as Best Buy have received the most attention from the showrooming epidemic, clothing stores, shoe shoes, and even furniture stores have all been affected by the practice.
The loss in revenue due to showrooming has caused many of the large retail stores to shrink their store space, as it no longer becomes economical to spend money on such a large area when customers would rather buy online.
A few retail stores have actually taken to the shocking trend of charging customers a $5 “looking-fee.” Other retail stores have simply adopted a “price match guarantee” against online retail store prices.
Combat Showrooming: Build a Strong Online Shopping Presence
The easiest and most effective way to combat showrooming is to embrace the changing market trends and build an online shopping presence. The process can be a bit overwhelming, especially for those businesses that are new to technology. However, if you set out to build your online presence in a smart and deliberate way, there is no reason why you should not succeed.
Here are three quick ideas to think about when trying to improve your online presence.
- Add E-commerce to your site—A website can be a great marketing and advertising tool for your products and business in general, but if you are really looking to take advantage of the growing internet retail market, optimizing your website to sell your products is the way to go. It can be a huge, frightening step in expanding your business, but if you do it correctly, the sales will come.
- An easy to use mobile site—Having a website is simply not enough. Many online shoppers browse the internet on their smartphones or tablets, and making sure that your website is optimized for mobile viewing can be a huge difference in whether or not your products are purchased online.
- Allow in-store pick-up—Optimizing your website to allow in-store pick-ups is a great way to boost your online sales presence and capture a share of the growing market. Many people continue to shop using a combination of online and in-store purchases, and allowing store pick-up is a great way to get shoppers into your store and viewing more products.