Showrooming quickly became a Voldermort-like word, one which should never be uttered around brick-and-mortar retailers. According to Retail Customer Experience, the practice of going into a retail store to look at products and then search for them online or on mobile at a later date is becoming a reality, and retailers like Best Buy are embracing the practice rather than combat it.
From the article:
For many retailers, the fear of showrooming is based primarily on price competition — and for good reason. Consumers care about price and use mobile technologies to search for the best deal. In fact, some consumers have even demonstrated their willingness to purchase holiday merchandise from an online competitor while they are interacting with the product in a brick-and-mortar retail store.
But what Best Buy and a handful of other retailers have come to understand is that not all retail products are commoditized. Although price matters, it isn’t the only dimension consumers look for in an exceptional holiday shopping experience. And in many cases, the price advantage online retailers have enjoyed can be neutralized through other in-store strategies.
With that in mind, there are a few strategies that brick-and-mortar retailers can use this holiday season to embrace showrooming and convert it into retail success:
Showrooming as a negative concept is grounded on the notion that online-only retailers can beat their brick and mortar counterparts by cutting costs of distribution and sending this value on to their customers. However, it overlooks the obvious fact that most buyers in the majority of retail categories continue to need the “intimacy” of trying something on or having tactile interaction to see how it works for them, never mind still often enjoying the shopping experience itself. By leveraging physical store space to offer enhanced multichannel shopping opportunities, retailers can capture business from online competitors. When done well, omnichannel integration combines online, social, mobile and in-store resources to deliver an experience that far surpasses the experiences offered by online competitors.