“Reverse Showrooming”: A Bricks & Morter Retail Benefit

Contributor: Janet Valenza, president, is a past c-suite executive from the Young & Rubicam family of companies. Pop-Up Artists is a strategic marketing agency that creates focused physical shops integrating e-Commerce, for retail and luxury brand clients.

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We’ve all heard the Bricks & Mortar retail complaints about “showrooming.” Someone comes into the store to see, touch and experience the product only to return home to the Internet to shop price and buy it elsewhere. It’s true, and a real drag. But what if that same Retailer could use “showrooming” to their advantage?

The good news is the Retailer can! How? By displaying samples of eCommerce Brands, taking orders through the existing eCommerce Brand website and getting a cut of the deal. The Retailer can even charge a base rent, calculated on sales per square-foot, using the same model that Bloomingdale’s uses for their shop-in-shops. Any sales above the base would be eligible for a percentage to be earned by the Retailer.

Here’s how the Retailer wins. First he / she can test new categories without any financial inventory risk. That’s right: No inventory risk! The biggest risk in retail is removed! Not only that, instead of laying out cash for inventory, the Retailer can take it in with the base rent, adding to profitability.

In a clothing boutique, for example, the Retailer can test jewelry. A small sample presentation can be created, and remain live for six weeks in Bricks & Mortar, with the store staff taking orders through the existing Brand’s website. If it works the Retailer can continue the relationship. If not, the Retailer simply opts to bring in a new Brand. The Bricks & Mortar now has a risk-free way to build their assortment and their business!

Another benefit to the Retailer is newness. The sample presentation creates another easy reason to invite the Customer back into the store. It’s a traffic driver. And it’s newsworthy for press purposes.


Janet can be reached at 917.497.5319 or [email protected]. For more information: www.pop-upartists.com

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