showrooming

What Is Showrooming? Showrooming In A Nutshell

Consumers use the showrooming technique to touch and feel a product in a brick-and-mortar store before searching online marketplaces for the best price. In essence, this enables the consumer to have the best of both worlds. Showrooming, therefore, is a practice where the consumer inspects a product in a brick-and-mortar store before buying it online for a cheaper price.

Understanding showrooming

Showrooming is a consequence of mass smartphone uptake and the increased prevalence of eCommerce companies. Unlike their predecessors, the consumers of today shop in retail stores with a smartphone in hand and are easily able to compare prices among various merchants and read product reviews.

Showrooming can be a problem for brick-and-mortar store owners who do not have an established online presence or are otherwise unable to compete on price. Online retailers such as Amazon, on the other hand, are benefitting from the trend.

How can showrooming be offset?

Showrooming is a trend that is not likely to disappear any time soon. With that in mind, here are some ways a retailer can discourage or prevent the practice:

Buy online, pick-up in-store

In the buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) strategy, the customer orders a product from the retailer’s online store and then collects it from the physical store. Retailers can also benefit from this approach by locating popular items near the store checkouts to maximize impulse purchases.

Price-match guarantee

Many retailers now offer a price match guarantee to combat showrooming. This means they will match the lower price of a competitor for in-store purchases. Many consumers are attracted to this option because allows them to own the product immediately by purchasing in the store.

In-store experience

Retailers need to offer experiences that make consumers want to visit their stores. Some may choose to offer Wi-Fi or products that are not available online, while others may do the same with promotions and sales events. The business can also benefit by ensuring that the checkout process is as quick and painless as possible, with a study finding that 52% of American consumers are frustrated in retail stores because of having to wait in line to pay.

Intuitive mobile sites

In a report compiled by the Acuity Group, an intuitive and well-organized mobile site was the most important factor in a consumer deciding whether to purchase from a business. With 73% of those aged 26-45 having bought something from their smartphone, retailers must meet consumers where they are and focus on providing an attractive mobile shopping experience.

Key takeaways:

  • Showrooming is a practice where the consumer inspects a product in a brick-and-mortar store before buying it online for a cheaper price.
  • Showrooming can be a problem for bricks-and-mortar stores without an online presence – particularly if they are unable to compete on price.
  • To combat showrooming, the business has a few options. These include the buy online, pick up in-store strategy, price match guarantees, in-store experiences, and intuitive mobile sites.

Main Free Guides:

Connected Business Concepts

bundling
Bundling is a business process where a series of blocks in a value chain are grouped to lock in consumers as the bundler takes advantage of its distribution network to limit competition and gain market shares in adjacent markets. This is a distribution-driven strategy where incumbents take advantage of their leading position.
decoupling
According to the book, Unlocking The Value Chain, Harvard professor Thales Teixeira identified three waves of disruption (unbundling, disintermediation, and decoupling). Decoupling is the third wave (2006-still ongoing) where companies break apart the customer value chain to deliver part of the value, without bearing the costs to sustain the whole value chain.
unbundling
Unbundling is a business process where a series of products or blocks inside a value chain are broken down to provide better value by removing the parts of the value chain that are less valuable to consumers and keep those that in a period in time consumers value the most.
disruptive-business-models
As pointed out in the book “Unlocking The Value Chain” by Thales Teixeira, business model disruption has followed three waves: unbundling (1994-99), disintermediation (2000-05), and decoupling (2005-onward). Today what’s disrupting the business world is the wave of decoupling. That consists in breaking the customer value chains by identifying valuable activities that can be performed by the decoupler, which can capture a good chunk of the business value from incumbent companies.
disruptive-innovation
Disruptive innovation as a term was first described by Clayton M. Christensen, an American academic and business consultant whom The Economist called “the most influential management thinker of his time.” Disruptive innovation describes the process by which a product or service takes hold at the bottom of a market and eventually displaces established competitors, products, firms, or alliances.
types-of-innovation
According to how well defined is the problem and how well defined the domain, we have four main types of innovations: basic research (problem and domain or not well defined); breakthrough innovation (domain is not well defined, the problem is well defined); sustaining innovation (both problem and domain are well defined); and disruptive innovation (domain is well defined, the problem is not well defined).
types-of-innovation
According to how well defined is the problem and how well defined the domain, we have four main types of innovations: basic research (problem and domain or not well defined); breakthrough innovation (domain is not well defined, the problem is well defined); sustaining innovation (both problem and domain are well defined); and disruptive innovation (domain is well defined, the problem is not well defined).
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