For the last few years ‘Showrooming’ has become a key part of the retail mix but the take-up to embrace this was not as rapid as it should have been. Showrooming is when a customer visits a physical store to examine a product before purchasing it online, often at a lower price and either buys online from the brand or finds it cheaper elsewhere.
The rise of showrooming can be attributed to several factors, including; the increasing prevalence of smartphones and mobile devices, the growth of e-commerce platforms, and the availability of price comparison tools. Consumers now have access to a wealth of information about products and prices, which allows them to make more informed purchasing decisions.
One of the main ways in which showrooming affects the retail mix is through its impact on brick-and-mortar stores. With more consumers opting to shop online, traditional retailers have seen a decline in foot traffic and sales. This has forced retailers to rethink their strategies and find ways to entice consumers to visit their stores.
One strategy that many retailers have adopted is to enhance the in-store experience. This involves creating a more immersive and engaging environment that goes beyond simply showcasing products. For example, some retailers have introduced interactive displays and digital signage to provide customers with a more dynamic and informative experience. Others have focused on creating a sense of community by offering events and workshops that bring customers together.
Another way in which showrooming affects the retail mix is through its impact on pricing. As consumers become more adept at using price comparison tools, retailers are under increasing pressure to offer competitive prices. This has led to a race to the bottom in terms of pricing, which can be challenging for retailers that rely on margins to stay profitable. To address this issue, some retailers have started to adopt a pricing strategy known as dynamic pricing. This involves adjusting prices in real time based on a range of factors, such as demand, inventory levels, and competitor pricing. By doing so, retailers can stay competitive while still maintaining margins.
While the move to showrooming has presented challenges for traditional retailers, it has also forced them to become more innovative and customer-focused. By embracing new technologies and adopting new strategies, retailers can adapt to this changing landscape and continue to thrive in the years to come.
Have a look at some of our favourite showrooming examples:
Naturally, Ikea is the first example that springs to mind when you think “showroom”! Leading the way in immersive retailing, IKEA is the epidermis of everything a showroom should be! With sets created to make you feel right at home, IKEA offers a sweeping retail experience tailored around the customer’s needs! From picking the colour of wood stains, to the finishes on door handles, IKEA’s planning and consultation services paved the way for showrooming. Allowing customers to get fully furnished rooms delivered to their door!
American menswear apparel, Bonobos is an upscale e-commerce driven machine! Another front-runner for pioneering showrooming in the retail space, Bonobos’ showrooms (or “guideshops” as they like to refer to them as) don’t have any checkouts at all! Why you may ask? This bold decision has changed the way Bonobos’ clients experience the brand, their Personal Shoppers are there to welcome customers in and provide one-on-one styling advice. In turn, this allows the clients and brand to build up a relationship (and revenue!). Plus the “guideshops” provide a pleasing visual with little to no clutter.
Intersect by Lexus
The automotive industry are notorious for selling more than just cars. The Intersect by Lexus spaces are just one example of showrooming used in the automative industry. The spaces aren’t used to buy cars but rather to sell you the accompanying lifestyle of a Lexus owner. They aim to form real connections with customers, who will hopefully choose their cars in the future. These Intersect spaces aren’t designed like any regular car showroom, their New York showroom consists of a coffee shop, restaurant, art gallery, meeting and events spaces, and a retail area further promoting the aspirational lifestyle the brand is trying to promote to potential clients.