Show-rooming points to big troubles for brick-and-mortar stores. Recently while shopping for a new refrigerator I thought I would give showrooming a try. It’s pretty easy to do, you can use an app like Amazon or Red Laser and quickly scan barcodes on appliances other items in any store for a quick comparison. To capitalize on this trend many online retailers are offering free shipping and set up for large appliances. My results – I could’ve saved $250 online. However the retailer was prepared and offered free set up, haul-away and a gift card. Lesson learned if you’re going to showroom give the salesperson at least a shot at matching the price. For retailers think about embracing show rooming with your own scannable codes and price match offers. Make sure you remind consumers about services and guarantees you may not get from online retailers. More about growing show rooming trends.
CouponCabin, the deals website, and Harris Interactive, the polling firm, surveyed2,361 adults, and reported that 43% of people owning a smartphone or tablet participated in this activity.
Upon being asked if they were worried that this might cause bricks and mortar stores to go out of business, some 44% of the panel proved “not at all concerned”.
A further 41% were “somewhat concerned”, while 12% were “very concerned” and 3% were “extremely concerned”, the study found.
By category, the uptake of such behaviour was highest when considering home electronics, hitting 50%. Entertainment products like books, DVDs and CDs logged 40% here.
These figures stood at 31% for the apparel segment, as well as 29% for footwear, and 24% for desktop PCs, the analysis revealed.
Overall, a 97% majority had ultimately bought an item researched in this way at a lower price than was available in stores.
Within this group, a 28% share of shoppers either “always or often” did so, and another 68% “sometimes” adopted the same strategy.
“Consumers are using technology to find as many ways to save as possible, and showrooming is a prime example of that,” said Jackie Warrick, president of CouponCabin.
“As showrooming becomes more widespread, some stores are concerned and are changing their strategies, offering new incentives and providing special offers to keep shoppers buying at their retail locations.”
Research from Deloitte has suggested that over 50% of consumers were likely to be carrying smartphones when Christmas shopping this year, compared with 40% last year.
“Those [chains] who adjust and are able to be nimble with their customers will have a great holiday,” said Alison Paul, retail and distribution sector leader at Deloitte. “Showrooming is a phenomenon, but it will not end retail as we know it.
“Retailers recognise that having the customer in the store is nine-tenths of the battle,” she added. “There’s nothing like the immediate gratification of walking out with what you came to get.”
Data sourced from CouponCabin/Chicago Tribune; additional content by Warc staff, 22 October 2012