How to Stop Showrooming in Retail Stores
“No thanks, I’m just looking.”
Ugh. If these words don’t make small retailers cringe, they should. “Showrooming,” or the practice of visiting a store in order to see a product before buying it online at a lower price, is a very common trend that most small retail owners face. It is also one of the many ways that Amazon is killing small businesses. So is there a way to turn visiting customers into…paying ones?
Here are 5 things that you can start doing now to make sure you’re converting those that are browsing to those that are buying:
1. Engage with your customer
Creating a detailed customer engagement plan is the most crucial thing you can do when trying to prevent showrooming. Ask yourself, are your in-store activities and online promotions in sync with each other? Make sure you have a website so that your store can be found online and keep building your list of customer emails to whom you send newsletters to at least once a week. Use these newsletters as an opportunity to re-engage with your customers by announcing product launches, exclusive offers, and other things going on at your store.
2. Go to your customer
Open a pop-up shop or host off-site events- go to where your customers are. This way, you’ll be taking your products out of your store and bringing them to a new audience. You’ll have to keep up with the events taking place in your area, however. The best way to do to this is to look at the events that have happened last year and see if they’re repeating them again for this year.
3. Make your product exclusive
Although smaller stores may not be able to offer totally exclusive products, you can still do some pre-launches at a small scale. For example, if you’re running a boutique, host a joint event with a designer to offer an innovative and exclusive collection.
4. Educate customers about your product
Invest in employee training and development. Well-trained and friendly sales reps are a must for the customers, not to mention an experience online retailers can’t compete with.
5. Plan in-store events
Host an event for showcasing a new product line. To make sure you are attracting the right kind of audience, you can even throw some holiday parties. When they come, you should encourage them to sign up for your newsletter. This will encourage them to visit your store and purchase more items.
6. Packaging and details
Amazon has terrible packaging, and this is one area where you can beat them. Customers like “pretty” things- even if it’s just the packaging. Go for beautiful packaging elements that align with your brand’s ethos. For example, if you want to be clean and consistent, maybe use more blacks and whites. If you’re going for the classy and luxurious look, use some gold and ribbons. Make sure your online elements are consistent with your brand.
How do YOU get rid of “showrooming?” Let us know in the comments!
Image Credit: Hin255/Shutterstock, Carlo Dapino/Shutterstock