Showrooming, a growing phenomenon in which consumers "try" a product in the physical world and "buy" it for less online, not surprisingly, frustrates traditional retailers. As online retail grows and accounts for a greater share of consumer wallets, brick and mortar retailers are struggling under the mistaken notion that showrooming is as inevitable as shoplifting.
Not necessarily. Understanding the showrooming's drivers and responding intelligently, can help retailers counter the threat and convince shoppers to buy more at brick-and-mortar stores.
Shoppers want retailers to:
Match prices with the best deals available online.
Provide outstanding customer service.
These capabilities can be easily delivered by equipping store associates with mobile technologies that allow real–time access to product information, inventory, and ordering.
Certain segments of shoppers such as male shoppers and those aged below 45 are open to newer mobile and social retail experiences, our research shows. Interactive product displays, member discounts, payments through mobile wallets, customer service through mobile texts, we believe, are key to securing the patronage of these shoppers.
Traditional retailers are up against it. Shoppers are turned off by:
Inability to locate products.
Unavailable store associates.
Limited payment options.
Retailers that are able to fix these sources of shopper ire, and are able to provide an experience tailored to individual shoppers, will find that they are better able to contend with showrooming.
The infographic below presents key insights from our "2012 Shopper Experience Study" conducted with RIS magazine. It provides pointers on how to provide consumers the shopping experience they desire.