The Social Age has changed the way many consumers shop, and compare prices. Competition is heightening, and companies need to step up their game in order to compete. Now more than ever the service a customer receives in a store will determine whether they will walk through your doors. Online competitors like Amazon are dominating and changing the way customers shop.
In comes the concept of showrooming:
“Showrooming is the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar retail store or other offline setting, and then buying it online, sometimes at a lower price”
A company now doesn’t only have other brick and mortar retailers to compete with, but online competitors as well. Showrooming has gained traction over the past five to ten years, changing the industry forever. With many people carrying their smartphones with them, they have the tools they need to compare prices at their fingertips.
Now customers aren’t using your company to buy your product, but using your store to see their desired item in person before making their purchase online. No longer does the customer have to deal with in person interactions, when they can just hop on their phone, compare prices, and purchase. With this change in technology and consumer buying behavior comes many company policy changes. Numerous companies have changed policies and introduced “price matching” in order to restore their customer loyalty.
Price matching is just one of many ways companies can combat showrooming. Here are some other strategies that companies can use that Rhonda Abrams listed in her article for USA Today:
- Offer benefits
- Hold events
- Create a membership program
- Engage with customers on social media
- Provide great service
Providing great service is more important than ever. If a customer has a negative experience in your store, then they are much more likely to turn to online retailers. Providing an excellent customer experience is what will keep a customer loyal, and offering things like memberships, price matching, and events will keep your customers coming back for more.
How likely are you to use the showrooming technique? What kinds of items are you more likely to compare prices on; electronics, clothing, home goods? Let me know by leaving a comment!
Photo: Showrooming Cartoon
Photo: Price Match Guarantee