Clientbook Blog
May 30, 2023

What is showrooming and why is it a concern for retailers?

In a world affected by a global pandemic and a pace that prioritizes convenience and speed, many people have become accustomed to online shopping on mobile devices.

According to Optinmonster, 65% of customers check for price comparisons while they’re physically shopping in a store. This influences 51% of shoppers to purchase from a company other than the one they originally intended to.

This is a challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers as they are often just a showroom for customers rather than the site where a sale takes place.

In this article, learn more about showrooming, its effects, and how to combat the showrooming trend in your retail business through clienteling, using Clientbook as a tool.

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What is showrooming?

Showrooming is the practice of visiting a brick-and-mortar store to look at, try on, and research a product. The customer then leaves the retail store, finds the same or similar product in online stores, and purchases it for the lowest price.

Why is showrooming popular?

Showrooming is popular because customers want to pursue the best deals they can find throughout their shopping experience. They want to visit physical stores, see a product in person, and do a price check. This is especially true of high-value items like furniture, jewelry, instruments, and electronic products.

Online retailers don't have the overhead costs that physical stores require, so they often offer cheaper prices on the same products brick-and-mortar retailers offer. Online purchases become the default when online prices are more competitive.

Online shoppers also benefit from the ease and convenience of having a product delivered right to their door when they purchase online.

Effects of showrooming

While showrooming seems like a good idea on the customer end, it's not so great for retail businesses, and in the end, not ideal for customer experience either. Below are a few effects of showrooming on retail customers and businesses.

Causes a gap in the customer journey

When a customer begins their shopping journey with your retail business, you want them to end it with your retail business through a final sale. When an online sale with a different business interjects in the customer journey, your sales flow is interrupted.

Discourages customer loyalty

When a customer is hopping from business to business, online and in-person, they tend to bypass a positive customer experience. Sales associates are not able to nurture long-term customer relationships and are unable to turn a prospective shopper into a loyal customer.

Can be costly to retailers

When customers are using major retailers as solely showrooms, there's a much higher potential for lost sales. This can affect the success of a retail business and can cause them financial stress over time.

Strategies for dealing with the showrooming trend

While the showrooming trend can be cause for alarm, there are several strategies that you can use to combat the effects of it and make sure your retail business continues to thrive.

Build relationships through clienteling

Clienteling is the practice of building long-term relationships with your customers. It’s a step above customer service—clienteling includes supporting your clients, making efforts to create a relationship with them, and knowing them well enough to help them find what they need throughout their customer journey.

Clienteling is a way to keep customers coming back to your business time after time. When you provide an excellent experience for customers, you leave a lasting impression and improve customer retention.

This has the potential to encourage a customer to come back to your physical retail store rather than moving to online shopping after experiencing your products.

Provide a custom experience

Customers want to feel seen and understood. In McKinsey & Company's Next in Personalization study, 71% of consumers surveyed stated they expect personalization from companies and 76% get frustrated when they don't get a personalized customer experience.

It’s vital to your business to provide personalized, customized experiences for shoppers throughout their buyer's journey.

Some examples of impactful content that can be customized are: special offers, loyalty programs, personalized wish lists, and custom product recommendations based on customer preferences.

A personalized experience will go a long way in customer satisfaction and retention. This is a great strategy to avoid showrooming and cultivate customer loyalty.

How Clientbook can help you avoid showrooming

Are you struggling to get out of a showrooming slump? Maybe you attract a lot of customers but don't see them through to a final sale.

This is where Clientbook comes in.

Clientbook is a tool to help you avoid showrooming and gain customers for life. Clientbook improves the consumer experience by allowing you to track customers, store customer information, and remember details about your customers to provide them a custom experience.

Using the Clientbook app or web platform, sales associates can message their customers, send them personalized product recommendations and offers, and communicate with them in a professional yet personal way. Doing these things will help to develop a relationship between clients and retailers and increase the chance that they'll become a returning customer rather than turn to online retailers.

Conclusion

Showrooming is a trend that may not last forever, but for now, it's an issue that many retailers struggle with. Luckily, there are ways to work around showrooming that will not only improve your sales, but help you develop long-term relationships that lead to customer loyalty.

Clientbook is the tool that will push you forward and out of the showrooming rut. Book a personalized demo today to learn how you can get ahead in your physical retail store sales and leave showrooming behind.

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