Birchbox’s 5 merchandising strategies for their first brick-and-mortar store

Not too long after the success of online retailer Warby Parker opened their first brick-and-mortar; beauty e-tailer, Birchbox is expanding out of the subscription box and is opening their first physical retail store in NYC’s trendy SOHO district, at 433 West Broadway. Co-founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna ensures that their first retail store is much different than the ordinary beauty retailer. See the 5 ways the Birchbox’s shop is bringing a unique in-store experience to their customers:

1. Merchandised by Category

Full-size products are organized by category rather than brand—meaning you won’t have to circle the store 100 times to compare pink nail polish. Beauty brands, typically require department stores and drug stores to group all of their products together in one branded display. But because of Birchbox’s relationship with the brands, they were given the OK for the new approach. 

2. SKUs are arranged the same way they appear online

Wanting to keep the omni-channel experience the same online and in-store, Birchbox’s product assortment is laid out exactly how it is displayed online. Allowing customers to keep the same shopping patterns when viewing products.  

3. Embracing in-store technology

Interactive displays are placed around the sales floor will allow shoppers to view more product selection, read customer reviews, view personalized recommendations, learn expert tips and watch DIY video tutorials. 

4. Personalized Service

There is a “Build Your Own Birchbox” bar where shoppers can custom-mix and select sample sizes of products for $15. 

5. Hands on approach

With the new physical store, Birchbox wanted to guarantee shoppers can interact with their selection of products, an experience shoppers can not get online or through their subscription. The store offers free classes and services like hair styling, manicures and make-up applications. For those shoppers who like to do it themselves, before buying, the store has set up “Try on Bars” 

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From the Fortune article:

On a sidewalk in New York’s Soho neighborhood this week, two women’s eyes lit up as they approached the glowing front window of a new retail store from Birchbox, the company best known for selling mail order subscriptions for beauty product samples. “Store opens Friday,” the security guard offered. “You know the Birchbox?”

With her gaze fixed on the wall of pink cardboard boxes behind the glass, one of the women approached the window and snapped a photo with her iPhone. She was spellbound. “Oh I know the Birchbox,” she murmured hypnotically. Even as she walked away, her eyes stayed locked on the window.

It’s no secret that in three and a half years, Birchbox, has built up a devoted following. More than 800,000 women subscribe to the company’s monthly beauty sample boxes. (The company also offers boxes for men.) Half of them purchase full-sized versions of those items on Birchbox.com. They’ve written millions of reviews on the site, and watched just as many “haul” videos showing the boxes’ contents on YouTube. They will undoubtedly be just as excited about Birchbox’s next move, a brick-and-mortar retail store, which opens its doors today in downtown Manhattan.

Inside the store, there’s plenty for them to like. Birchbox’s approach to brick-and-mortar retail carefully mirrors the digital brand it’s known for. Editorial displays carry copy with a tone that matches the website, and there are iPads that promise personalized offerings. Naturally, the store’s pink, white, and tan color scheme matches the boxes it sends to its female subscribers.

Earlier this week, Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, the company’s co-founders and co-chief executives, showed off all the ways their store would be different from other brick-and-mortar beauty stores. For one, the company’s new store is merchandized by category, not brand. This would normally be an affront to beauty brands, which typically require department stores and drug stores to group all of their products together in one big, branded display. In the Birchbox store, items are arranged the same way they’d appear online, in sections like “BB Cream” (as in “beauty or blemish”) or “second-day hair products.”

Barna says the company’s sales associates were thrilled about this development because they no longer have to drag customers all around the store to show them different brands of eyeliner. The brands would have never agreed to it if they didn’t already have relationships with Birchbox, Beauchamp said. Moving from the online sales environment to an offline one—rather than the usual other way around—gave the company an advantage, she added.

Despite the many physical products placed around the store, the space leans heavily on the company’s online presence. The iPads placed around the floor offer more products, reviews, and video tutorials from Birchbox.com. A physical display in the front of the store shows a rotating inventory of the top online sellers, and a large interactive display in the back allows shoppers to input their attributes (hair type, skin color, age, et cetera) for new product recommendations using their finger.

At a counter in the back of the store, shoppers can put together custom boxes of beauty samples. Downstairs, across from a corner of Birchbox for Men products—which the company expects will be purchased mostly by women as gifts—is a Birchbox salon, where professionals offer manicures, hair styling, and makeup services. The company says it will play host to appearances from various beauty celebrities and offer free classes for subscribers on makeup techniques like contouring and nail art.

In April, Birchbox raised $60 million in new venture funding, which valued the company at $485 million. In its announcement, the company said it would use the capital to amp up marketing and possible international expansion beyond the U.S., France, Spain and the U.K.

Birchbox has since been flooded with incoming calls from interested landlords and realtors around the country, which Barna said came as a surprise. If all goes well in New York, Birchbox may expand to more brick-and-mortar stores. For now, the company says its Soho store will serve as an experiment to learn about the ways its obsessive and devoted customers interact with the products. Of course, it’s also a chance to win over any casual beauty shoppers who, for whatever reason, don’t already “know the Birchbox.”

Germany’s first Zero-Waste Grocery Store

Think about going into a local supermarket, almost every item is packaged in some way or another with disposable materials; these materials make up much of the 3 pounds of waste produced by people every day. Two entrepreneurs set out to eliminate the food-packaging waste by opening up Germany’s first zero-waste supermarket. Supermarket called, Original Unverpackt will be package-free, meaning you won’t see any plastic containers, plastic baggies, twist ties, bottles, cardboard boxes etc…

The no-waste grocery store is the first of it’s kind to ditch the traditional supermarket model of shelf-after-shelf of packaged food and trendy merchandising displays. If the no-waste concept takes off, grocery merchandisers will have to find new and innovative ways to display products within the stores. That means departing from the beloved POP signage and traditional product placement strategies.

See the full Business Insider article below:

A new grocery store in Germany will operate without food packaging that later turns into garbage. 

Original Unverpackt is a concept store in Berlin. Founders Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski write on the store’s website that they want to give consumers the option of giving food without waste. 

They raised money through private investors and crowdfunding, and will open to the public in August.

“The grocery store doesn’t sell anything that comes in a disposable box, bag, jar, or other container,” writes Liz Dwyer at Takepart.

The store offers “grains in bulk bins, attractively displayed produce that’s not shrink-wrapped or stored in tetra packs, and beverage stations just waiting for refillable bottles,” Dwyer writes. 

The founders also illustrate typical food packaging: 

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In comparison to what zero waste looks like. Note the reusable containers and refillable bottle. 

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7 Proven Tips for Displaying ‘Boring’ Products In-Store

Guest Post By:

Danny Thomson

To be successful at visual merchandising, it is necessary to be innovative, especially in how you display seemingly “boring” products. Your job is to bring attention to these products and intrigue the potential buyer to interact with and buy them. It is said; you are likely to achieve greater success if your storefront has one or more windows for display. There is no need to worry if your store lacks a shop-front window, though. With a mix of creativity and science you’ll be able to attract attention to your products. Here are some tips on ways to display boring products in-store:

First Things First

It is important to ensure that areas where these products are to be displayed are clean. Windows, tables, racks and all other materials needed for displaying products should be cleaned. You also need to plan the best time for setting up displays so that your business does not experience any down time as a result. Ever walked into a dirty Apple Store? Nope. I didn’t think so either. Learn from the best and keep you store ship-shape.

 

Use Bold Colours and Shapes

Colours matter when it comes to grabbing attention of customers to products. So, when setting up a display, especially a window display, it pays to use bright colours that could make it stand out, even from a distance. Fuchsia, papier-mâché’s, foam boards, or any other eye-catching objects that are related to your business could also be put to good effect.

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De-clutter

It is also a good idea to ensure that you do not clutter your display in an attempt to showcase as more products as possible. Cluttering has a high tendency of making customers lose interest in your wares.

These days, we live life in the fast lane and do not have that much time to start going through what you have on displays one after the other. It is advisable to keep displays in store as simple as possible. Products should be arranged in groups and every item included must look necessary, not superfluous.

Read up on the psychology of merchandising here and apply the basic principles in your store.

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Strike a Balance

The largest and heaviest products should go into the display first. You might say this is a matter of common sense, but it could still be taken for granted. Striking a balance also demands that darker items should be near the base of display. Smaller and brighter wares should be at the top to draw attention to themselves and other bigger, darker products at the base of the display. Some people may opt to put large and small items in separate sections of ads, which does not make for a balanced and attractive display. Balance has the tendency to induce feelings of pleasure and excitement in a subtle manner.

 

Update Your Display

Experts also advise that displays should be updated periodically. You should not simply set up a display and go to sleep. Regular updates help to keep customers captivated. This does not necessarily mean you should start creating new ideas for display all over again. Different photographs showing your store and products, perhaps, being put to use, may suffice for these updates that can be done every few weeks. If you are in need of some inspiration, this article has 12 tips from a seasoned retailer that you can apply.

Remember that your competition is no longer local. Your store has to remain relevant in comparison with ever-changing online stores, which tend to be very dynamic and fluid in their presentation.

 

Accentuate with Lighting

It is not enough to just put lights in a display. Lighting should bring out the focal point of a display. You should not hang lights directly above products to avoid unpleasant shadows at the bottom. Rather, lights should be at the sides and front of products to accentuate them.

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Sell it Online

Struggling to sell it in-store? Try selling it online. If you want to test the water, try listing your products on eBay or Amazon to see what the demand is like. You can sell practically anything online: case in point, Kerboo is a store dedicated to selling 3M tape!

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to get started (shopping carts like the hugely capable Magento are free to use and can be extensively customised), and as everybody knows, the results of a successful E-commerce operation can be very rewarding.

 

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Playing out the World Cup in-store

Retailers notoriously spend millions of dollars on sponsoring large events, but when it comes to translating marketing campaigns in-store retailers fall flat. In an article posted by Talking Retail, retailers fail to deliver marketing campaigns at the most critical part of the customer journey, the point of purchase. With tough competition in-store, Taking Retail gives some pointers on how to make your World Cup promotion stand out against the rest.

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From the article

Business has long known that big events can be an opportunity to drive sales increases – evidenced by the enormous sums spent on event sponsorship. Yet for a long time, such activity seemed to grind to a halt at the store door, says Danielle Pinnington, managing director, Shoppercentric. She writes:

Major FMCG companies would spend a fortune on engaging advertising for their slots during the events, but seemed to ignore the real opportunity available at the point of purchase. The notional ‘line’ that marketing was either above or below acted as a barrier, which meant that much of the goodwill generated by an entertaining ad could be forgotten once at the fixture because there was no reminder beyond the brand logo.

There is an argument that the store is a more competitive place these days than the average England match, so is this the World Cup that signals a more concerted effort to persuade shoppers at the fixture by tapping into the event itself? Will we see more ‘through the line’ campaigns that travel the full length of the purchase journey from trigger to transaction?

There are some promising signs. Tesco – who probably feel a bit like an England team at the moment – announced a series of World Cup exclusives in London designed to attract football fans, on top of the in-store marketing already appearing across the country.

What was interesting was that the exclusives aren’t just about promoting beer or snacks on the basis those are relevant categories. Instead it is about tailoring promotions to reflect the matches going on at the time – so Corona beer when Mexico are playing, for example. The clever chaps at Walkers should take some credit for this, as they were the brand who came up with World Cup flavoured crisps four years ago, sparking real enthusiasm among shoppers.

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The big watchout, of course, is that if everyone is working hard to bring the atmosphere of the event into store, and to highlight the relevance of their product or category to World Cup supporters, there is going to be a lot of clutter for shoppers to wade through.

So, for marketing teams putting the final touches to their World Cup shopper marketing campaigns, we recommend you get out of the office, visit a range of the stores you are distributing to and look at your fixture and the store as a shopper, asking yourself:

  • Which brand or activity catches the eye – can your activity visually compete?
  • Which POS mechanics are being used – will your own activity be doing anything different?
  • How much additional noise is the retailer introducing to the store – how can your activity standout against that?

Admittedly there isn’t much time to make major changes, but by casting a shopper eye over the competitive environment it might just be possible to make the tweaks that get the ball firmly in the back of the net!

Uniqlo’s Killer Business Strategy

Since opening their first store in the US in 2005, the Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer Uniqlo has swept the American retail scene by storm. Just like their competitors at Zara and H&M, Uniqlo has quickly become a visionary leader in retail.

We were pleased when we recently found Uniqlo’s business model posted on their parent company Fast Retailing’s website. We thought we’d share the secret sauce behind one of the world’s leading brands.

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*Image belongs to Fast Retailing Co, LTD

Their approach is simple – “UNIQLO clothes are MADE FOR ALL.” Since 1984, they have been committed to developing long-lasting clothing items that transcend across all categories and social groups, offering a seemingly unlimited supply of everyone-has-them – or should-have-them – apparel basics.

Uniqlo has established a SPA (Specialty store retailer of Private label Apparel) business model, which encompasses the entire clothes making process –from design and production to final sale. This model allows the retailer to successfully differentiate itself from other companies, by developing unique products based on selling highly finished elements of style rather than the pursuit of fashion trends.

Research & Development  (Designers/Pattern Makers)

Uniqlo’s designers work with project teams to develop new fabrics before studying fashion trends. Once the laboratory develops a new fabric, designers in Tokyo, New York, Paris, and Milano begin to make designs that fit the new fabric. Concept meetings happen around one year before a product launch. R&D then engages with merchandising, marketing, materials development and product departments to discuss and finalize concepts based on seasonal increments.

Development and Procurement of Materials

Uniqlo strives to provide such high-quality clothing at reasonable prices. Producing over 700 million items annually, Uniqlo can negotiate with global material manufacturers to secure materials at the lowest cost possible. Through setting up a Global Quality Declaration, an increased attention to material quality has led Uniqlo to develop innovative materials with some of the best martial manufactures such as Toray Industries and Kaihara Corporation.

Merchandising

Each Uniqlo store presents a sleek and modern look in a very Apple- meets-Gap way. Visual merchandising displays run from floor-to-ceiling and are no less than eye-catching, to give the illusion there is a lot to be found. The juxtaposed walls of men’s sweaters, women’s tanks, and kid’s T-shirts are tucked into cubbyholes and lining display cases coordinated to the shades in the rainbow. Customers are responding well, with 24,000 visits on a typical Saturday. NewYork Mag stated Uniqlo had become New York’s hottest retailer, an impressive title to be given from the retail and fashion capital of the world.

With Uniqlo’s urban megastore model, an average store is around 37,000 square feet; merchandisers play a vital role from product planning through production to make sure these stores are filled with the right product, at the right place, at the right time.

Merchandisers first meet with the R&D designers, they then apply the concepts for each season in product plans, materials and designs. Seasonal collections such as “Airism” in summer and “Heattech” in winter seasons represent Uniqlo’s philosophy of integrity and freshness.

Next, merchandisers decide the product lineup and volume for each season, paying close attention to a detailed marketing strategy. An important task for merchandisers is to decide when and where to increase or limit production. Decisions around adjusting production in line with demand are made with the product-planning department.

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Quality and Production Control

Uniqlo deploys about 400 staff and textile takumi* (skilled artisans) to offices in Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Dhaka and Jakarta. The takumi team gives instructions on dyeing technology and techniques to partner factories to insure the best quality of products. Customer concerns regarding quality are communicated immediately to production departments, and then improvements are made weekly to resolve outstanding issues.

Expanding Production Network

Broadening its global reach, Uniqlo has formed business relationships with partner factories in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Production offices in Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Dhaka and Jakarta to ensure clothes are made to the highest global standard of quality.

Inventory Control

The Inventory Control Department maintains the optimal level of store inventory by observing sales and stock on a weekly basis, and dispatching necessary inventory and new products to fulfill product orders. At the end of each season, merchandisers and the marketing teams help coordinate the timing of markdowns and sales (typically 20 to 30% off*) to ensure that inventory is sold.

Marketing

Marketing promotions are done by season. During campaigns, Uniqlo advertises core products, such as fleece, jackets, polo shirts and HEATTECH. Uniqlo uses TV, flyers (Japan) and other media sources to promote offerings and discounts that week.

Online Store

Sales from the Uniqlo Japan Online Store totaled 24.2 billion yen in fiscal 2013, or 3.5% of total sales. Uniqlo online portals are also in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the U.S. (Revenue from this has not been disclosed)

Customer Center

90,000 comments and requests are handles yearly.

Uniqlo Stores

For store locations, Uniqlo actively searches for areas with high potentials, usually in high-end shipping malls and urban centers. Uniqlo invests heavily into training stuff and awards high-achieving store managers. Some compare Uniqlo’s in-store experience obsession to a turbocharged version of kaizen, the Japanese concept that translates roughly as the continuous search for perfection. Uniqlo prescribes, records and analyzes every activity done at the store level, from folding techniques to how cashiers return credit cards.

Uniqlo business model has been successful in growing the empire; their aggressive expansion plan by year’s end is to have 39 US stores – with stores in Los Angeles and Boston – up from 20 at the start of the year. Uniqlo is the fourth-largest specialty-apparel store in the world behind Zara, H&M, and Gap; with sales around $10 Billion.

Source:

*”UNIQLO Business Model.” FAST RETAILING CO., LTD. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2014.

Written by: Rebecca Shirazi

Rebecca Shirazi is the marketing manager at RBM Technologies. She is a frequent contributor to MerchandisingMatters.com, where she writes in the areas of marketing, merchandising and supply chain.

Bad In-Store Experience Is The Reason Why RadioShack Is Closing 1,100 Stores

Electronic retailer RadioShack has seen better days, walking by or even into a RadioShack store you can quickly see why sales fell 19% in last year’s fourth quarter. RadioShack is in desperate need revamp the in-store experience and CEO Joseph C. Magnacca is out to do just that.

From the Forbes.com article, Magnacca points out his turnaround plan for RadioShack.

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From the article

Here’s a quick breakdown of his plan:

  1. Repositioning the brand. This concept is exemplified by that 1980s Superbowl ad RadioShack won much deserved acclaim for. The company is promising a new, snazzier version of itself.
  2. Revamping the product assortment. In short, give customers more products they want and get rid of stuff they’re not buying. Magnacca promised real changes in product this summer, and noted the company is moving back to its “roots” by offering newer products ahead of the curve. He’s also betting big on his employees who he says are capable of educating consumers on new products.
  3. Reinvigorating the stores. Some RadioShack stores are getting makeovers. Well lit, clean lines and modern design will highlight top products. These concept stores include things like interactive speaker walls, and live devices that customers can use.
  4. Operational efficiency. 1,100 store closures shrink company owned stores by about 25%. Magnacca says these were the lowest performing stores, and ones that were expected to generate losses. The company still has about 4,000 locations.
  5. Financial flexibility. New financing of about $835 million from lenders including GE Capital. The financing includes $585 million in a new asset-based lending facility, and a $250 million secured term loan.

Question is now – will it work?

With over 4,000 stores to reinvent, the pressure will be on to see how quickly and efficiently RadioShack can bring the 90’s electronic giant into the 21st century, where consumers will want to come to RadioShack to try out and buy the latest and greatest devices on the market. The key component will then be for RadioShack to sustain and continue to keep relevant after the new concept stores have been converted over.

New Research Tackles Known Problem Management in Retail Visual Merchandising and In-Store Campaign Execution

In its newest custom research report, RIS News examines the state of Known Problem Management (KPM) in retail today and what companies can do to create more customer-centric campaigns that are planned and executed on time

Linking ineffective in-store merchandising to a zombie, a problem that refuses to die until someone figures out how to kill it, RIS News examines known problems through the lens of task management and corporate communication at the store level. The problems of these zombies are so bad they are eating up retail profits! And their #1 enabler, according to retailers? The use of email and spreadsheets to manage in-store execution of visual merchandising, planogram management, retail labor operations, merchandising, and customer engagement strategies. Found in the research, retailers are driven most by the need to adapt and respond to the demands of the consumer. In fact, nearly 60 percent of retailers listed it as the top factor causing them to change their approach to executing merchandising plans for promotional events. The pressure to keep up has caused an influx of these zombies.

Other findings from the RIS News research include:

  • Sixty two percent of retailers say the leading cause of ineffective merchandising for promotional events is the limitation caused by using email and Excel spreadsheets
  • More than half of retailers’ merchandising campaign materials are inaccurately planned and distributed
  • Fifty-three percent believe the number one factor preventing stores from executing campaigns on time and accurately is a heavy store workload. Tied for second at 50 percent each are the lack of ability to track stores and inadequate corporate communication

In_store_merchandising_zombies

“The new research from RIS News demonstrates that retailers are beginning to identify known problems and are looking for solutions to kill these zombies,” said Dan Wittner, EVP & Chief Operating Officer at RBM Technologies. “Leading this charge is the desire to create a better in-store experience for the consumer. This is achieved through marked proficiency in executing merchandising plans and staying compliant with corporate campaigns. Fortunately, new technology now empowers store managers to get rid of Excel sheets and excess emails, and focus on the store floor by automating campaign compliance and increasing communication with corporate headquarters through visual planograms.”

Access to the full research report can be downloaded from RIS News.

NYC Fashion Week By The Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

The folks over at NRF’s This Is Retail blog put together a great infographic on just how NYC Fashion Week spreads across the city, online, social media, and beyond.

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From the site:

Each year, thousands of celebrities, designers and brand employees flock to NYC for fashion’s biggest event, the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. In recent years, the event has found innovative ways to showcase designer’s collections via digital platforms, bringing the excitement of the event to millions of fashionistas unable to attend in person. Social media has also become the standard of communication during Fashion Week with hundreds of thousands of tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram photos, check-ins on Foursquare and more.

Staples Second Quarter Profit Drops 16 Percent

Using Asymmetrical Merchandising Online and Offline

For years advertisers have been using pictures to create stories in the minds of customers. Through magazines, TV, online, and now mobile, products and services are placed in picturesque settings – igniting customers to imagine how the product or service can fulfill their desires and needs.

Social sites like Pinterest and Polyvore have expanded on this concept; where users pin or post pictures of products, services or things that interest them. The result is a curated grid of products. When products are presented with this type of strategy, shoppers have shown to buy more. According to Gartner research, 59% of consumers made a purchase after seeing a Pinterest pin board. Polyvore drives 20% of all social media merchandising online.

These results caught the eye of 2nd largest online retailer, Staples. Staples used Pinterest and Polyvore as part of the inspiration for redesigning its online and bricks-and-mortar stores. By using asymmetrical merchandising strategies and utilizing consumer insights from social, scientific and lab insight perspectives, Staples decided to simplify the selection of items on their web-site and in their stores.

Arun Arora, ‎SVP/GM Global e-commerce at Staples, told delegates at this year’s NRF Big Show about how they leveraged the idea of “curation,” to help shoppers overloaded with information make purchasing decisions quicker and simpler to make.

In the redesigned of Staples’ physical stores, Staples’ decided to scale back on the overwhelming assortment of products offerings. This has meant selecting the “top three products that have most relevance for the features and price-points that our customers look at,” said Arun. If shoppers wanted to then browse a wider selection, Staples’ installed a variety of digital kiosks that give access to the huge assortment of items sold on Staples.com.

More specifically, Staples’ employed the strategy of asymmetrical merchandising, showcasing products together that have no obvious connection. Similar to how advertisers use pictures to tell a story, Staples grouped together unrelated products on a display to tell a story about how that grouping of products can fulfill a shopper’s needs and goals. For example, Staples created break room and facilities room mock-ups that put products into a context that may spur additional, related purchases from office managers. The strategy improved on the traditional aisle with simplified, more compelling product placement

Since October 2013—the day the new site went live—the company has seen a 100% increase in conversion. Their in-store shops reduced their store footprint from 28K to 12K sq ft and kept of product selection. By using an asymmetrical approach, Staples has achieved their goals of increasing revenue while simplifying the website or stores, reducing the number of SKUs.

Rebecca Shirazi is the marketing manager at RBM Technologies. She is a frequent contributor to MerchandisingMatters.com, where she writes in the areas of marketing, merchandising and supply chain.

showrooming-retail-store

How to embrace showrooming during the holidays

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.

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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.