Smarter strategies to stop Showrooming

Oct 21, 2013 Comments Off by

Showrooming has become a massive problem for many retailers.  Showrooming is where customers find the right product in store – and then buy online elsewhere.  They simply treat the first retailer as a free showroom, often just to try products on for size.

Here’s a good article in the Australia Post Business Lounge with some tips to help from John Ford, CEO of The One Centre.

The five key points from John are:

  1. Make sure your store experience delivers something special.
  2. Offer added value that e-commerce sites can’t.
  3. Develop a valuable web presence.
  4. Sell the instant gratification of buying in store.
  5. Revisit your range.

All good points, and John Ford also gives some good tips and examples.

I especially like his point about developing a valuable web presence. It doesn’t mean having to sell online, but it does mean making sure that what you do on the web is perceived as being VALUABLE to your CUSTOMERS.

Smarter strategies to combat showrooming  need to use the web to ADD VALUE to customers in your own special – and ideally unique – ways.  Don’t just use the web to become another me-too  retailer with an online channel, especially if you can’t compete on price or range in your real-world shop.

Ultimately, it’s always about VALUE.  When price is the only point of difference between shops,  VALUE becomes solely based on price.  Online retailers may win the Price-war – but you don’t have to let them win the Value-war.

Of course price is important. You need to be competitive, but you don’t have to be the cheapest…  not if you provide other value as part of the mix.  In addition to having products in stock at competitive prices, what other value do you provide your customers?

Think about how you can use web tools and technology to add value, improve convenience, build trust and provide better service and services to make your customers happy – and keep them happy.

Happy customers are more likely to buy from you again and are more likely to tell their friends.

Some questions to ponder…

  1. Who are your best customers?   Why do these best  customers buy from you today?
  2. Why will they buy from you tomorrow, next year and in 3 years’ time?
  3. What would they love to get from you? How can you give it to them?  Or will one of your competitors be smarter or faster to offer the love – and attract your best customers with better value?

Strategies & Roadmap
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