• Ray Allegrezza

Your best defense is a strong offense

Ray AllegrezzaRay Allegrezza
It's amazing how technology can open the door for new words and catchphrases.
     A few examples can be found in the newest edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which has added crackberry, m-commerce, social media, tweet and Twitter.
     However, based on the growing popularity of a recent consumer shopping strategy, the publisher should plan on adding the word "showrooming."
     In the unlikely event that this is a new term for you, showrooming is what happens when a shopper, while in a brick-and-mortar store, uses his or her smartphone to comparison shop that retailer's competitors online.
     Even the big boys of retail are concerned. Target, for example, recently sent a letter to vendors asking those suppliers to help put a lid on showrooming, in part, by bringing the retailer more exclusive products.
     Meanwhile, Wal-Mart is hoping to minimize the damage from showrooming by stressing in-store pickup for purchases made online.
     And for those of you are who from Missouri (the Show Me State) look at what Pew Research recently found out when the company surveyed consumers about how they use their cell phones.
     The market research firm conducted a telephone survey with 1,000 U.S. adults and concluded that, in a 30-day period around the holidays, 52% of shoppers with cell phones shopped brick-and-mortar stores, found an item they liked, and then researched that product using their phone.
     But just under 20% of that group did more than just research the product using their phones - they bought the product online.
     The study also confirmed that 24% used their phone to look up reviews of a product online while they were in a store, while another 25% looked for a cheaper price.
     Let's face it: There's always going to be a better deal somewhere, so perhaps your best defense is a strong offense.
     Target was on target when it encouraged vendors to develop more exclusive products.
     But since shoppers are using those cell phones to comparison shop, why not use that technology to send her coupons or other incentives to get her into your store?
      She's plugged in to her phone. You should be, too.

Ray AllegrezzaRay Allegrezza | Editor in Chief, Furniture Today

Each week in my Editor's Desk blogs, we'll take a look at interesting news or events in the furniture industry. The most important part of this whole process will be your input. So, take a look at my posts below and weigh in with what you think by clicking on "Add Your Comment" at the bottom of each blog.

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