13 Jan

The impact of “Showrooming” on the retail sector

I read an article on this topic recently by Jeff Weidauer onscreen-promotion


The term “Showrooming” has been coined as a way to describe the activities of consumers checking out what is on offer in retail stores and then making their purchase online (sometimes while still standing in the shop).

A couple of years ago, it was suggested that showrooming would be the end of the retail store.  Fortunately, the reality is very different.

In his article, Jeff Weidauer says “solving the biggest problem that results in showrooming isn’t really that complex. Showrooming is primarily a price-related activity; a direct result of consumers checking online pricing, comparing that to what is on the shelf, and finding a huge disparity. Simply removing, or at least reducing that disparity has let most of the air out of showrooming.”

He goes on to say that “a greater opportunity remains for bricks and mortar retail, along with a greater challenge. The challenge is to run stores with lower margins dictated by online price matching, and to figure out where costs can be cut and the margins recaptured to support the overhead cost structure. Real-world retail is more expensive than online, so the model has to work long-term……..

Slaying the showrooming dragon for good will take a full commitment to making the bricks and mortar shopping experience better overall than shopping online.”

This positive experience needs to be built on three pillars –

i)                    the staff in the shop,

ii)                  the visual and sensorial experience for the shopper from the moment they enter the shop, and

iii)                the competitive value of the goods on offer.

In Visual ID we help our clients achieve this positive experience for their consumers.  If you want to know more then visit us at www.visualid.com.