Wednesday 25 June, 2014

Ecommerce Tips – How to Take Advantage of Showrooming

Yes, it’s true that people still shop offline. We like to touch items and see them up-close. But shoppers are increasingly likely to window shop offline and then head online to buy, or at least to compare prices. This is called show rooming and it’s a trend that’s causing brick and mortar retailers to lose sleep at night.

If you’re an ecommerce store, you can take advantage of show rooming even if you’re not the online store the customer buys from.

Reason Number Ten Million Why Amazon Rules

Leave it to Amazon to think of a clever way to profit from show rooming. Amazon came up with a genius idea using show rooming. During the holiday shopping season, it allowed people to easily find items in its online store by scanning them. It would show the Amazon price and offer a discount to the customer if they bought through Amazon. You can be sure that offline retailers lost many a sale through this promotion.

Yes, But I’m not Amazon

You’re probably thinking, ‘Yes, but I’m not Amazon.’ Of course a major retailer like Amazon which offers every product under the sun can do this. But what about the little ecommerce store? You can offer the same service and although you won’t get every sale, you’ll build a good relationship with your customer.

It works like this. Work with a developer to create a price comparison system on your website, or to create a mobile app that does the same. It can be a database or pull the data from other sites. When a customer scans an item, you show them various prices from around the web. If you carry the item, steal Amazon’s idea and offer them a deal on it.

Where’s the Sale?

You’re probably now wondering, ‘What’s the point if I don’t get the sale?’ After all, by showing the customer the offers of other ecommerce stores, aren’t you effectively sending them to your competitors?

Technically, you are. But if you take a longer view, you’ll see that what you’re really doing is building a relationship with your customer. Your site or app is where they’ll go when they’re shopping. This is much more valuable for you than a one-time sale. In the future, they’ll go to you not only for information but the goods and services you carry. When it comes to selling online, relationship is everything.

A Few More Things You Should Know…

The most show roomed goods are electronics, clothing, food, beverages, books, music, sporting goods, toys and hobbies. If you’re selling any of these items, there’s a great deal of show rooming going on.

In addition to the price comparison, create a site or app that pulls reviews from around the web. You can be your customer’s one-stop shop for information about the products they’re shopping for.

Offer free shipping. Most people showroom to find the best price. Buying offline means no shipping. If your site tacks on shipping after the subtotal is calculated, this drives up your price.

Show rooming is a reality today in our information age. Many offline retailers wring their hands over it, but the truth is that there’s no evidence they’re losing business at all. People are just trying to shop smarter and make sure they get the best deal possible before they buy.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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