3 Ways to Eliminate Showrooming
“No thanks, I’m just browsing.” Every retailer's’ worst nightmare.
As a customer, you’ve probably visited a store to view a product just to purchase it later online at a more competitive price. This practice is known as “showrooming,” and is a challenge for most retailers. Showrooming is one of the many reasons why giant e-commerce retailers like Amazon.com are slaughtering small businesses. As a brick-and-mortar retail store owner with high overhead costs, how do you possibly compete? Is there a way to showrooming visitors into paying customers?
Here are three things you can implement into your business to combat showrooming:
1. Maximize customer interaction. Customer interaction is essential in preventing showrooming at your business. Create online promotions, in-store activities, host off-site events or open pop-up shops; keep your business top of mind with its customers in any way, shape or form. Make sure your store has a fully functioning website to promote new products, discuss industry-specific news and provide customers with an easy way to contact you (e.g., even a simple contact submission form will suffice over nothing at all). Keep track of customer emails and share newsletters announcing new products, exclusive discounts and offerings, and other promotions that will keep your customers informed and motivated to return.
2. Educate your customers about why your products are worth buying. Your business may not be able to offer totally exclusive products, but you can most certainly host one-of-a-kind events to offer specialized, unique products that your customers would want. For example, if you’re running a boutique store, host an event in collaboration with a designer to offer store-only collections. You’ll also need to train your employees to know why your products are unique and worth purchasing. With a wealth of knowledge on each and every product on your shelves, coupled with an inviting and friendly personality, online retailers are one step further away from turning into your meanest competition.
3. Go for the whole package. The one thing Amazon can’t do better than you is packaging. A nicely packaged present will always incite excitement and euphoria that plain brown-boxed packaging simply won’t be able to replicate. Customers appreciate the effort put into aesthetically pleasing products, even if it’s just the way you package and present your products. Stylize your packages by looking for material that matches your brand’s style. For example, if you’re aiming for the clean and minimalistic look, go for more monochromatic textures and colors. If you’re going for the swanky, luxurious look, invest in some ribbons and gold paper. More importantly, make sure that your packaging, while stylish, stays consistent with what your brand represents.
It’s certainly hard to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to competing against e-commerce giants, but more often than not, there are a few small tweaks you can make as a brick-and-mortar retailer that could make all the difference.
Nicole Chan is the director of public relations and brand marketing at Bindo, a retail technology company.