5 Tips to End Showrooming At Your Store
Aug 9, 2012
Austin, Texas: Showrooming is a way of life for retailers these days.
Customers can easily scan any bar code at your store and comparison check on a smartphone in seconds .. then decide to buy elsewhere.
So, how do you combat showrooming?
Do you ignore it and hope it goes away? Heck no.
Showrooming is here to stay.
Do you cover up the barcodes (like this retailer does) and hope customers are too stupid to enter the product in by some other method and compare prices? No, you will just antagonize your customers more and make it look like you have something to hide.
Best advice: you address it with a full-press attack.
Here are some ways to combat showrooming
1) If you are a local business, stress your ties to the community.
Don’t just donate a portion of your proceeds to the school’s sports teams or other extra-curricular activities—get involved with them.
Be seen at the games.
Be the biggest supporter of the team.
Be visible in your community and people will want to support you.
2) Be a valued resource in your community
One example of this in my hometown of Austin, Texas is Run-Tex, a local chain of athletic footwear.
Paul Carrozza the owner of the chain, is always on TV talking about running in general and they are the host site for many local 5K, 10K and marathon packet pickups, which draw in hundreds of runners each racing weekend. to their store.
He has become the go-to guy for all local media when talking about exercise, fitness and running. Their site lists all upcoming running events within a 100-mile radius or so– so their company becomes THE running source in town.
Will people still comparison shop? Sure, but in the long run, more than enough consumers will buy from Run-Tex than buy from Zappos to support their local business.
Write blogs on your field of expertise.
Give away knowledge and the products will take care of themselves.
An educated customer can be your most loyal customer.
3) Gift with Purchase
Perhaps the best way to differentiate your offering from another is with a gift with purchase.
A gift with purchase works well because your offer is different enough to make comparison shopping moot. Some examples are a free bottle of shoe cleaning spray with a pair of running shoes. Or a free 5-song music download card with purchase of back-to-school backpack. Or a free sports watch with heart rate monitor with the purchase of a an elliptical machine.
Think out of the box. Sometimes the gift can have nothing to do with the product– like a free sports bottle with the purchase of cologne or perfume.
The key is that it has to be of some value compared to the product itself – and it avoids discounting.
This can be in the form of bundling–where the shirt also comes with a coordinating tie at a price somewhere between what you’d normally sell both items separately for.
Another option is bundling a service to go with the product–like an extended warranty, training of the high tech product, etc.
Although bundling is better than discounting, I would suggest the first three options before going with bundling, as it still erodes margins.
5) Meeting or Beating Prices
No one can be so high minded to say to always walk away from meeting or beating prices.
Depending on the markup and profit of the order, some may be tempted to “take the money and run” – -albeit at a discounted profit.
But use this technique at your discretion.
Consistently matching competitors with deeper-pocketed, national competitors who may have more purchasing power is a no-win situation.
Do you walk away from it? Depends on the situation and the potential for future business from that customer.
Price matching can be your last resort in dealing with customers — but it is all the other things that you can offer (see steps 1-4 again) that can help prevent this occurrence from happening too often.
Fight back against showrooming — and compete on your strengths.