A couple of years ago I was talking to a regional manager of Gill marine, the specialist clothing manufacturer and retailer. He was bemoaning the latest trend in their shops which was people would come in and spend time, often up to half an hour, trying on clothes. Having decided what they want they would leave and search for the best price on-line. Thus the shop was spending a lot of time with the customer and making no sale or profit, and the on-line operations were benefitting at no expense. Admittedly Gill were ultimately generating turnover but it was badly affecting the retail operations. The practice became known as ‘showrooming’.
Well now we have the latest trend identified in an article in retailing online.com, reverse showrooming
Retailers are fighting back and creating in-store environments where customers are encouraged to search the store’s on-line site. Wal-Mart have launched an in-store app and now we have a site called Shop My Label, where shoppers are incentivised to scan products in store and promote tem to others who are not in-store.
Developing the in-store environment to meet the demands of the shopper is about adding service to ensure the shopping experience is one that will encourage the consumer to keep returning. if that means adding the “in-store, on-line” feature, then this is what retailers will need to do.