Retailers see it every day. A shopper comes into the store, takes out his mobile phone and starts comparing prices. In too many cases, the showrooming behavior leads the shopper to buy the product online. But retailers have ways to fight back, say the analysts at Aimia.
Consumers most likely to engage in showrooming are younger. At least 57% of Millennials, those between the ages of 19 and 29, shop this way. In addition to price comparing, 58% of younger consumers are also checking user reviews and 24% seek social network support before they make the buy. Showrooming is also a behavior that skews male, 59%.
What retailers may not know is that there are ways to work with showrooming customers to increase sales. Instead of cracking down on customers by using proprietary codes which cannot be scanned, Aimia analysts suggest that retailers play up marketing tactics that appeal to other behaviors of showroomers. These shoppers are more likely than average to participate in loyalty programs. They also enjoy mobile technology and want to communicate with retailers through mobile channels.
Part of Aimia’s recommended strategy is meant to fight the elephant in the room, Amazon, with its own power. Retailers may begin to promote their own loyalty programs which include enough of a discount to make a dent in Amazon’s advantage. They’ll also start to advertise products that can only be purchased at their location so online price comparison is a non-issue. At the same time, they can establish their own review sites and a powerful mobile marketing campaign that will give those tech-happy shoppers something to do with their phones when they walk into the store.[Source: Fergusun, Rick and Hanifin, Bill. Through the Looking Glass. Aimia.com. 2012. Web. 5 Oct. 2012]