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Combating Showrooming with Mobile Apps

Showrooming has become the thorn in the side of nearly every retailer. And with good reason.

If you’re out of the loop, you might be asking yourself what ‘showrooming’ is and why it is relevant to your mobile strategy. Showrooming is a relatively new phenomenon and describes the act of visiting a brick-and-mortar retail location in order to try out a specific product, with no intention to purchase it from that specific retailer. Instead, after trying out the product, the individual will use their smartphone to research the product and find out which online retailer is offering the same item for the best price.

The online industry has had several debates about how to best handle situations like this, the best approach comes from actually meeting the needs of shoppers who deploy showrooming tactics – on their smartphones. As a retailer, you can leverage strategic mobile apps to encourage consumers to purchase the item in the store, even if someone else is selling it at a cheaper rate somewhere else.

Customer Loyalty

Consider various rewards and loyalty programs. Any app that promotes customer loyalty necessitates a strong strategy that hones in on creating a rewarding customer experience while they are in the store. If there are special discounts that can be found on the store app, there is a better chance that a purchase will be made.

Informed Store Associates

One of the driving factors for customers using their smartphones to make their purchases comes from the ability to conduct their own product research. So much product information is available online, things like product reviews, comparisons with other products, etc. The modern consumer wants to make informed buying decisions.

Interestingly, in-house sales associates are seen as less likely to know about the products they are selling then the Internet. Consumers are faced with the question of whether or not the person they are asking for feedback or information will really know the answer.

In contrast, if employees were armed with mobile apps that were capable of conducting the same research the consumers were doing, how much of a better position would they be in to educate customers?

By properly training employees, and giving them access to the tools they need to conduct their jobs, you are increasing the likelihood that they will be able to assist customers – and encourage sales – all things that lead to a stronger customer experience.

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