The Right and Wrong Way to Combat Showrooming

The Right and Wrong Way to Combat Showrooming

How retailers can combat showrooming. And it's not by charging admission to browse.

Get this: Some stores now charge shoppers who leave their stores without purchasing.

Want proof? A specialty food shop in Brisbane, Australia, posted this photo in its store window as a notice to all shoppers.

Does this mean companies are shirking responsibility for luring customers, creating a need and desire for their wares, and selling products? Seems that way. Can you blame a customer for not buying when they’re not “sold?”

Charging for “Showrooming” and Its Rationale

Showrooming is a term many marketers have heard before—but not in its newest sense. According to Wikipedia, “showrooming” is the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick-and-mortar retail store and then purchasing it on-line at a lower price.

Unquestionably, brick-and-mortar stores struggle against e-commerce sites, which have lower overhead and better economies of scale. As technology continues to advance and consumers become more comfortable shopping on-line, this trend will only accelerate.

Yet shouldn’t businesses create brands and destinations that customers want to patronize? Wouldn’t many customers choose a store over a website if it appealed to them in the right way?

Countering Showrooming another Way

Companies have many options for developing strategies to counter the lower-cost pull of on-line retail. (And if you want our help with those—let us know!)

Retail executives need to pull their heads out of the sand. Charging customers to shop will not entice them—rather, it will drive them to stores that don’t charge to browse and to on-line retailers who can now answer questions in real time and show video of products in action. Losing shoppers does not increase sales—it kills businesses.

Companies must find ways to prosper and adapt to the ever-evolving consumer-purchasing environment. Adapting includes finding innovative ways to retain customers through the entire purchase cycle. How are consumers buying products? How can your business model adapt to their needs and wants?

Posted: Apr 08, 2013
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
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