3 Ways to Combat “Showrooming”

By: Travis Dutka

Technology is drastically changing the way consumers buy your products – why not let it change the way you sell your product through every aspect of your marketing/ distribution channels as well?Showrooming is relatively recent phenomenon that is sweeping the retail world and creating quite a stir as it highlights the growing chasm for retailers between the brick and mortar stores and their online counterparts.It’s a little different for the larger ticket items, but the process is still the same: I want to buy a fridge or a car and I go into one physical location, check it out, touch it, feel it, smell it – whatever I do to make my decision – and then I go home and I shop around online to find the best price with minimal effort.  Even worse, I may even shop online from my smartphone while still right on the showroom floor.A survey from comScore shows that consumer electronics are among the most likely products to fall victim to “showrooming” but it also reveals that there are not many products that are exempt from this growing practice.

Showrooming By Product Categoy
3 Keys to Combatting Showrooming:

1. Think Digital First – Zero Moment of Truth

Combat showrooming by thinking digital first; engage the consumer from the Zero Moment of Truth.  Before they ever set foot in a retail store (online or brick and mortar) your consumer is likely to start the purchasing process by verbalizing their intention through their social media channels. Google calls this the “online decision-making moment”- before they even start comparing prices.Have a “Digital First Posture” in your marketing and ensure that your product marketing and channel marketing people are in alignment so that you can hold the hand of interested consumers right from the Zero Moment of Truth. If you are socially aware, you will realize that the consumer is your dragnet before they even are aware of it.  Showrooming is a digital problem; combat it with digital solutions.

2. Human Interaction – First Moment of Truth

SixReasons Banner 350x250Retail sales associates are the first point of contact between your product and the consumer. A good sales person holds the power of influence to solidify the decision of the consumer and can help them take the plunge to purchase even if they are “just looking”

“Once they’re in the store, they’re yours to lose … A lot of people talk and write about the ‘showrooming’ phenomenon. It’s a symptom, not a cause. There are things that you’re not doing for the consumer that makes them not want to purchase.” – Scott Durchslag, Best Buy’s senior vice president and president Online and Global e- Commerce has a quEmpowering the front line sales associates to close the sale for you, even if people are just in the “information gathering stage.”

3. Brand Interaction – Follow through with a nice little rebate

LeveragingTheConsumerRebate Banner 350x250As a consumer, the icing on the cake as far as making an on-the-spot, in- store, purchase decision is the promise of saving money and having it end up right back in your pocket. A well used rebate makes everyone happy and can be a powerful consumer-swaying tool for the Sales Associate to secure the sale. Ensuring the rebate process is a smooth and enjoyable for the consumer will add a level satisfaction to the in-store experience even though that process is totally separate.

Showrooming isn’t going away anytime soon, so the only way to address the “threat” to your sales numbers is to take a holistic approach and attack it on ever level of your marketing/sales strategy.

Travis Dutka 360 IncentivesTravis Dutka is a communicator at 360Incentives.com who likes iced espresso.  Connect with Travis on LinkedIn here.