Marketing

Working ‘Inside’ the Box, Big Retailers & The ‘Showrooming’ Challenge

Brick and mortar retailers face the “showrooming” challenge.  Showrooming is the act of checking out products at brick and mortar stores and purchasing them online.  The term is gaining traction in the modern vernacular…  Showrooming even has its own Wikipedia page.

The marketoonist has a great cartoon called “Showrooming” that captures the new reality faced by brick and mortar retailers:

 

By 2016 more than half of the dollars spent in US retail will be influenced by the Web. (Source: Forrester Research)


The growing trend of showrooming is further broken down in this infographic by Aprimo:

Showrooming Infographic

What can brick & mortar retailers do when it comes to customer ‘showrooming’?

(1) Customer focus

(2) Price matching

(2) Personalized coupons for in-store

(3) Loyalty programs

(4) Online exclusive sales

(5) Free shipping

Here are some initiatives that brick and mortar retailers launched in response to showrooming…

Bloomingdale’s Loyallist Program

Press Release: NEW YORK, New York: February 27, 2012  Bloomingdale’s today launches its new customer loyalty program called Loyallist in all U.S. retail locations and online. The new tender-neutral program is streamlined and delivers benefits to any customer shopping with a U.S. address at Bloomingdale’s — regardless of how they pay. Members of the loyalty program will accumulate points each time they shop and for every 5,000 points will receive a Reward Card worth 25 dollars. The Rewards Card can be redeemed on all merchandise (exclusive of gift cards) and are issued the moment earned, in the store or overnight via email if earned online, for use the very next day.

Loyallist

Image Source: http://www.bloomingdales.com/loyallist
 

Target Price Matching Guarantee

Target.com: If you buy a qualifying item at a Target store then find the identical item for less in the following week’s Target weekly ad or within seven days at Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com, BabiesRUs.com or in a competitor’s local printed ad, we’ll match the price. Price match may be requested at Guest Services prior to your purchase with proof of current lower price or by bringing in your original Target store receipt and proof of the current lower price.

Macy Goes Mobile

Macy’s is a big box store that has been innovating with mobile and e-commerce strategies.  Here is a good overview presentation by Vincent Tessier on SlideShare:

For more perspectives and examples on ‘Showrooming’ here are some links to recent articles in the news:

Forbes: To Beat Showrooming, Retailers Must Think Outside the Box

Media Post: Showrooming is Benefiting the Retailer

Huffington Post: 5 Retail Technology Approaches to Combating Showrooming

Media Post: Showrooming more opportunity than threat

Warc: Showrooming Grows in the U.S.

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