Showrooming is when a consumer checks out a product in a physical store then goes online to make the purchase. Showrooming impacts some retailers more than others. E.g. Customers showroom electronics more than any other product category.
Where digital is integrated in the real world, there is only going to be one price (adjusted for shipping and handling, warranty, etc) for both offline and online retail channels. Retailers would be wise to use their pricing strategy to encourage consumers to visit their physical store, their online store, or both, and purchase via whichever makes them most comfortable. With pricing leveled, retail success will be driven by service and selection.
Best Buy recently launched a new initiative "to price match the current pre-tax price for new, identical, immediately available products from local retail competitors and select designated major online retailers at the time of purchase only. (No subsequent price matching of competitors is allowed). If Best Buy lowers a price on a product (online or in-store) we will allow price-matching up to 15 days following the original purchase."
With pricing leveled, Best Buy will have to compete on service and selection.
Must Haves for Customer Service Differentiation:
- Seamless integration between offline and online
- Knowledgeable and supportive retail experience whether offline or online with no forced upselling
- Ability to purchase online in-store if out of stock in-store
- Do the homework for consumers and make it easy for consumers to self-educate themselves on why your price is the best value for the product including delivery and warranty
Must Haves For Product Selection Differentiation:
- Exclusivity, even if only for a lead period
- If a mass market retailer, wide selection across styles and price points
- If a niche market retailer, unique selection at price points relevant to target consumers
- Latest models
Source: "Best Buy Says It Has Killed 'Showrooming' For Good", Business Insider, February 18, 2013
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