Monthly Archives: November 2014

9 ideas to take advantage of reverse showroom

webrooming-506x336

Some of you might have heard of a phenomenon called reverse showroom (or webrooming); the consumer behaviour of researching a product online before purchasing it in-store. Unfortunately, in many cases the wrong store from your business point of view.

Reverse showrooming must not be underestimated. Opposite to what you may think it actually is more common than the other way around. According to a 2013 Harris Poll survey, 69% of 2000 American adults tried reverse showrooming and only 46% engaged in the regular one. Another 2013 survey concluded that more people were into reverse showrooming than its direct opposite. Also in-store shoppers tend to spend more money than online shoppers. 30 bucks actually (204$ vs. 174$). It turns out that avoiding shipping costs, the easy return of unwanted goods and simply being able to touch the products (still) have a massive influence on the choices of the consumers.

Below you’ll find 9 ideas giving you the upper hand in reverse showroom retailing

  1. Offer free Wi-fi in the store and let the customer use his smartphone onsite to access a company app providing him with user comments, more product information and perhaps a discount code.
  1. Make it possible for the customer to buy stuff online in the physical store. Provide the employees with tablets containing information of all the products and let it be known that all items can be purchased right off the screen.
  1. In many cases filling your wardrobe online is the cheaper way, making aforementioned examples worth trying, but don’t forget to make your in-store customers aware of the joys of not having to pay for shipping.
  1. Also touching the items and actually feeling the fabrics is somewhat of a USP – if your competition is only online. So why not mention this in your catalogues? And while your at it inform the customers of the ancient pleasure of returning an item to the store by simply stopping by and handing it over for cash. This is old skool 2.0
  1. Another thing also worth mentioning is always having (enough) products in the physical store. Studies from Harvard show that customers tend to go elsewhere if their desired items are sold out.
  1. Yes, we’re talking physical stores, but don’t forget that insights into online consumer behaviour can help you increase your revenue and at the same create the illusion that you see eye to eye with the Internet’s finest; The Pinterest users. Retail Company Nordstrom arranged its in-store displays based on the top items pinned on Pinterest. This is a fine way of showing key customers that you are where they are.
  1. Educate your employees even better. Make the customers understand that showing up in the physical store will give them an even better explanation than the one they might read online. A 2013 Deloitte survey showed that half of respondents said knowledgeable in-store staff would make them more likely to buy in-store.
  1. Competitive prices is of most importance
  1. A wise man once said, “The customer is always right”, and he wasn’t wrong. Well, there might have been one or two occasions, but to really get the attention of the consumers, you have to become them. You have to be where they are and provide them with what they have come to know and love in their young lives. If the customer wants free Wi-Fi, he should have it. If she wants the exact same item as the one she saw online, this should always be available.

Whatever you do, you need to consider that you customers don’t think in silos and that the distinction between offline and online is somewhat challenged these days. Reverse showrooming underlines that tendency.

The Importance of Omni-channelling

Omni-channel

We’ve all seen it coming, the year 2015. It’s been out there for a while just waiting for us to arrive with all our knowledge and ideas. Now that we’re almost there, it’s time to look back at an all-important tendency of the past year, a tendency once followed might make those red figures green.

While e-commerce continues to grow, so does the importance of physical stores. The significance of omni-channelling shouldn’t be underestimated in the years to come. Both shop owners, and on and offline shoppers gain from omni-chanelling and a lot can be learned AND earned from Integrating different business channels. This is emphasized by e-commerce businesses all over.

It’s all about combining different physical and digital channels in order to give the customer the full experience and a number of possibilities. We see a lot of retailers who were previously only available online, now also create physical stores. During 2014 we have seen Zalando open shops in Berlin and Frankfurt and Amazon will open it’s first shop across from the Empire State Building in New York just in time for the Christmas sale season.

Omni-channelling was one of the fastest growing trends over the past year. Driven among other things by the fact that both retailers and former 100% e-commerce players are now counting on meeting the customer through multiple channels.

In the retail sector, it is becoming more common with omni-channel. A great number of companies are in a process of integrating physical and digital channels and the physical stores often act as a showcase for the Internet store, the latter being very important for consumer research.

More and more consumers are searching for the specifics of a certain item online and then buy it in the physical store. According to “E-handel i Norden 2014”, a report on ecommerce in Scandinavia made by PostNord, last year more than half of all consumers in the region sought information about a product in an online store and then bought the product in a physical store.

We also see the opposite happening, where the consumer tries a product in the store and then heads home to compare prices online after which he or she buys the jeans or whatever where it is cheapest.

Existing both on and offline is sooo 2015.