Show Rooming to Survive
There has been a trend over the last couple of years called “show rooming”. According to a September 12th article on Time.com, show rooming is described as a process when “shoppers scope out merchandise in person, only to whip out a smartphone, shop around, and ultimately make the purchase elsewhere.” This process has been scaring retailers for a long time because thanks to the wonders of the internet consumers are smarter than ever and competing for a sale is becoming harder and harder as it becomes easier to develop a .com that can compete on cost. Not only do these retailers have to compete with other brick and mortars and those brick and mortars sister websites, but they also have to compete with their own sister websites.
Since the internet isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, brick and mortars have to get used to the idea of show rooming and figure out ways to take advantage of it. “They know they can’t stop consumers from using smartphones in their stores, so retailers such as Target have launched shopping apps of their own that incentivize in-store browsing and purchasing.” These ideas are great but the bigger issue here is branding. It’s hard for a retailer to position themselves as anything other than price leader and that’s impossible to do and still make a decent margin. Not many people have the capacity to do the Wal-Mart model and make that successful and even if they did there is no guarantee that their customers will be loyal in the future.
I am not an Ecommerce Guru yet, I am still waiting for my test results, but it seems like linking the brick and mortars to their respective .com sister sites would solve part of the problem, but that doesn’t solve the problem on loyalty. Not only do retailers have to bridge the gap between their brick and mortars and their .coms, but resellers specifically have to develop on-site loyalty that coincides with in-store loyalty so their customers can get the best of both worlds. Sites that have at least have one brick and mortar location have a significant advantage over their competitive counterparts. One trick that existing brick and mortars can use is creating in store coupons that are only redeemable online or take the other route and create online coupons that are only redeemable at brick and mortar stores.