Showrooming now a positive
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, February 15, 2014
It wasn't that long ago that the then-new phenomenon called show rooming had plenty of retailers, including some big boys like Walmart, Target and Best Buy, suffering from the Chicken Little syndrome (aka the sky is falling).
And since Chicken Little's phobia was related to the issue of gravity, allow me to quote Sir Isaac Newton, credited with discovering gravity, as I talk about the latest wrinkle in the show rooming saga.
As we all remember from school, in his third law of motion, Newton concluded that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Now, while you and I know he certainly wasn't thinking about show rooming when he made that observation, a new phenomenon, called reverse show rooming, seems to indicate that Newton's third law is at work here, too.
Knowing that most consumers start their shopping excursions online, gathering product and pricing information, or looking for peer-to-peer direction from sites such as Pinterest, a growing number of retailers are re-engaging consumers and capturing their attention and dollars with incentives that include price matching and same-day pickup at the shopper's local store for items purchased on the retailer's website.
Vision Critical, a Canadian market research firm, has released data that shows that key social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, actually drive as much in-store purchasing as online purchasing.
In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Vision Critical's Alexandra Samuel and David Sevitt said, "While 26% of consumers engage regularly in ‘show rooming,' 41% browse online and then purchase in stores - a practice we call ‘reverse show rooming.' Instead of feeling threatened by ‘show rooming,' retailers should study their customers' paths to purchase and use the insights gained to hone their online marketing efforts," Samuel and Sevitt said.
Assuming Vision Critical's information is correct, brick and mortar retailers can exhale. Not only does it appear that the sky is not falling; for brick and mortar retailers with a winning website, the sky may just be the limit.
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