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Showrooming – a threat or an opportunity for your store?

A trend called showrooming is a result of the impact of the Internet on shopping habits of modern consumers. This term describes the behavior of the costumer who, although going to a physical store, only looks at the product and does not purchase it. Viewing, touching, checking the goods  and trying on clothes – in store everything ends on testing. The transaction is finalized in the internet.

Many retailers feared that showrooming could threaten physical stores. Especially in the era of mobile internet – being in the store, we can instantly check on our smartphone if the product can be bought cheaply and where.

However, traditional shops have not disappeared. Ecommerce and physical stores coexist. Moreover, the opposite trend called webrooming appeared. According to it, the internet is used for browsing information and opinions about products, but the purchase is being made in a stationary store.

A Nielsen survey on consumer habits concluded that 60 percent of consumers are browsing information about the products  on the web, then purchases in the store, and 51 percent is doing the opposite – watching the goods in the store, then buying online.

New technologies need not be a threat to traditional shops, on the contrary – could be an opportunity and reason to make changes meeting new needs of consumers. Experts point out that trends such as showrooming should motivate retailers to the following activities:

  • integrating internet and in-store offer – the same products should be available offline and online,
  • building systems that let shoppers buy online and pick up in a physical  store, or buy in the store and have the products delivered to their homes,
  • boosting the knowledge of sales people and equipping them with the digital tools they need to better advise shoppers – the era of sales clerks is over, it is time for concierge service.

If the customer finds unique in-store experience, he will be back. Therefore, you should offer the consumer something unique – the decor, the smell – they act on the senses and emotions mostly. Internet is not able to provide such experiences.

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