The recent phenomenon of showrooming has plagued retailers with a strong brick-and-mortar presence, especially those in Canada. In the 2013 holiday season, 63% of Canadian shoppers said they planned to browse products in store and find a better deal online. Additionally, 30% of mobile users said they planned to use a smartphone or tablet to compare prices in store.
Best Buy decided to combat the problem by offering a price match for items carried by any authorized electronics dealer in Canada. The retailer also differentiated its sales people by equipping them with real-time pricing tool 360mobile, which mimics the Amazon price-matching app.
Even though online comparison-shopping stats can be alarming, certain studies have shown many showroomers pull out their smartphone with the intent of research, not jumping ship. A study shows only 6% of showroomers firmly believe better deals are found online. Meanwhile, close to 20% are price-sensitive, meaning they opt for a better deal even though they don’t always seek it out. And 12% are persuadable, meaning they will seek good deals but can be persuaded to make a purchase in-store if offered convenience or points on a loyalty program.
Looking at the nuances of showrooming, strategies such as Best Buy’s (i.e. working with comparison shoppers instead of fighting them) can be critical in convincing shoppers to stay.