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Posted: January 25, 2013

Beat The Showrooming Blues

Keep customers from looking at products in your store and buying them cheaper online.

By Dan Sanchez

Tips to beat showroomingShowrooming is becoming a big concern for many brick and mortar retail stores. The term comes from people who check out products and their features that are on display in stores, then search online for a better deal. With immediate access to websites and e-commerce shopping from mobile phones, it's easy to see why brick and mortar retailers are losing sales.

Free shipping, no sales tax (at least in some states) and better prices from lower overhead costs, often leads brick and mortar retailers to feel they're in no position to be competitive. But that's not really the case. According to a 2012 Deloitte Retail & Conumser Spending survey, people with smartphones influence 5.1 percent of all retail store sales in the United States. But the study also found that 61 percent of smartphone users who utilize their devices to shop, have boought products from a brick and mortar retailer. The other good news, is that smartphone users are also 14 percent more likely to convert to buying while they're in a store, rather than online.  This shows that people are using their mobile devices to enhance their shopping experience.

While there are sometimes big differences in prices on truck accessories between brick and mortar stores and online retailers, there will be customers that prefer to do whatever it takes just to get the best price. Desptie that, brick and mortar retailers do have some tactics at their disposal.

Customer Service
There's no better experience than having a great conversation with another human being. Since it's  your merchandisie displays that brought them inside your store in the first plase, make sure your sales people do their best to assist and convert them. Start by mentioning the product is in stock ready to take home today. They can also mention your simple return and exchange policies, and that you offer installation and service.

Online Advertising
People who search for products online with their mobile devices may be able to find your store location nearby and stop in to see if you have what they're looking for. Google business listings, Yellow pages and more offer ways to list your store online.

Competitive Prices
Work with your suppliers to see if they can give you better discounts. Many might agree not to offer deeper ones to your online competitors. You can also offer in-store discounts if they purchase products and accessories together.

Add QR Codes To Popular Product Displays
A QR Code added to your product displays can give in-store customers with smartphones access to manufacturers' videos, coupons, and other content you have available on your store's website. There are many free QR code generators that you can simply print out and display to give you in-store customers a better shopping experience.

The fact of the matter is, you can't always have the lowest price. But people will always pay more for better service. So if you're afraid that showrooming is happening too often in your truck accessory retail store, work to improve your customer's shopping experience.

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