Showrooming: 5 tips on how retailers can benefit in store
Rebecca Swindell 270003U1MK REBECCA.SWINDELL@UK.IBM.COM | | Tags:  business_connect claire_marshal emm digital_marketing
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This is a guest blog posting from Claire Marshal - Digital Marketing & Applications Consultant EMEA, Enterprise Marketing Management.
According to a recent eConsultancy consumer survey, 43% of UK shoppers now use Smartphones while on the move to compare prices and read product reviews which is up from 19% last year.
The availability of Wi-Fi is also having a real influence on where people shop; in the same survey 44% of all age groups said that the availability of in-store Wi-Fi does influence where they shop, and 31% said it influences somewhat where they shop.
A great number of retailers see people using their mobiles to compare prices and buy elsewhere as a concerning trend. Showrooming as it is known is not going to go away anytime soon and is sure to only increase as a consumer behaviour. The best way for retailers to deal with this is to accept it and use it to their advantage in encouraging visitors to their stores to stay longer and use mobile devices to browser their own sites.
Here are 5 tips based on tips from eConsultancy.com on how retailers can embrace Showrooming in their high street stores:
Customers will appreciate free and good quality Wi-Fi that allows them to carry out their product research in store. Retailers that are already offering this include Tesco and House of Fraser. Just remember to keep registration simple to encourage completion of setup e.g. email address and a couple of personal details. There will be other touch points where you can garner further information on an individual.
According to an OnDeviceResearch survey, 74% of respondents would be happy for a retailer to send a text or email with promotions while they’re using in-store Wi-Fi. So provide an incentive to people to visit your retail store and use their mobile device on your Wi-Fi. You might wish to make it exclusive to the store the person is in and for that day only to try and encourage purchase.
Ensure your site/s compatibility with Smartphones and tablets to guarantee that browsing of your product range is glitch-free and a simple user journey. You want to encourage use of your sites via Wi-Fi whether they are viewing your site in your stores, a competitors or en route to the high street.
Make sure you are promoting your device apps and/or mobile site within your retail stores. Use QR codes or short URLs to make it simple for shoppers to access them from within the store. You could add this detail to mirrors in dressing rooms, till points, signage and on till receipts or other clever uses of surfaces within the store. Be creative, but regularly make sure all your QR codes and URLs are working.
Think of ways you can encourage people to remain in your store for longer, or a more regular return visit. You may wish to offer discounts e.g. after x amount of visits or something for free such as a tea or coffee if your store has a café/restaurant. Debenhams offer a free coffee via a QR code to its visitors.
By allowing online use within your offline stores, you are able to join these two channels and influence further interaction with your brand and encourage in-store purchase. Embrace Showrooming and see this trend as an opportunity to interact and provide a service to your ever increasingly savvy customers.
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