One of the biggest concerns of brick-and-mortar stores today is a phenomenon called “showrooming”. It is a trend where customers visit the physical store of a brand to take a look at their products and go back home to purchase them online.
There are multiple reasons why customers “showroom”, the most common ones being to get a feel of products in person and the availability of the same products online for a lower price.
Showrooming has become easier with the availability of mobile devices – customers take a look at products instore and then use their mobile internet to research product specifications, compare their prices, and purchase the products.
Showrooming can hurt the revenue of your physical store if your customers are purchasing your products from your own online store. However, if customers are purchasing the same products from your competitor’s website, it can harm your entire business.
Improving customer service and satisfaction is key to curbing showrooming. Listed below are some strategies that you can implement to encourage customers to keep purchasing from your physical store:
Sell Store-Exclusive Products On A Discount
This is an easy way to get customers to buy your instore products. Customer satisfaction is no longer enough to ensure customer loyalty. Today’s customers expect to be delighted. If your customers get the exact same products for the exact same price on your website and physical store, they will choose to buy them from the comfort of their homes instead of visiting your store. Exclusive experiences can make your customers feel special and help you to stand out from the competition. You can create a landing page on your website to inform your customers about the instore discount and display the discounted products.
Create Instore Loyalty Programs
Sometimes good products are not enough for brands to gain and retain customers. An instore customer loyalty program is a marketing strategy used by brands to recognise their frequent customers by offering them exclusive incentives. To increase your store’s foot traffic, you can offer your regular instore customers referral discounts. This will bring your physical store more customers than visitors and will boost your brand’s word-of-mouth.
Educate Instore Staff
Train your staff to talk to your customers like experts who can guide them instead of salespeople on commission trying to sell products quickly. Train the staff to know every detail about every product and to explain to your customers how your products can benefit them and why they should purchase your product instead of your competitor’s. Teach them to identify instore customers who are trying to look for product information online and to help them out with the same.
Ensure A Smoother Experience With Self-Service And Self-Checkout
Checkout barriers are one of the major reasons why customers choose online shopping over instore. Customers refrain from shopping instore to avoid long queues and can abandon their baskets if there are not enough payment options. You can improve their instore shopping experience by introducing multiple online payment options including the traditional credit and debit cards along with multiple payment wallet options.
Customer service wait times have a major influence on customer satisfaction. No matter how good your product is, untimely or lack of customer service can also be detrimental to customer satisfaction. These factors can negatively affect your word-of-mouth, online reviews, and in turn business. With self-service counters, customers will not have to wait for their turn in long queues and will have the luxury to shop at their own pace.
Ensure Availability Of Products Instore
If their desired products are out of stock in the physical store of a brand, customers will check their availability on the brand’s website. If customers don’t find the products there either, they will turn to a competitor to fulfil their needs. If your products go out of stock from one of your store’s physical locations, your website should be able to direct your customers to other physical locations that have the products in stock.