Many ecommerce merchants believe that customers showrooming in traditional retail shops and then purchasing online can help their business. However, a deeper analysis on the effects of this trend may change your mind. While showrooming may increase your website’s sales volume, it can also have an unfavorable outcome if the traditional retailer has prepared for battle or if your online store has not been optimized.
Brick-and-Mortar Merchants are Taking a Stand
During the 2012 holiday shopping season, Amazon.com encouraged consumers to engage in showrooming. However, brick-and-mortar merchants did not stand by idly. A recent study indicates the most common reasons for showrooming, which brick-and-mortar merchants are working hard to curb the effects of.
It is no secret what benefits ecommerce merchants offer to shoppers. Traditional retailers are using this information to build strategies that keep customers purchasing in their stores.
Showrooming May Imply that Your Ecommerce Business Has Opportunities for Improvement
When customers visit ecommerce stores, they look for an array of photos, an accurate description, helpful customer reviews, and maybe even a video demonstrating the goods you offer. However, some ecommerce sites offer insufficient information, which leads customers to partake in showrooming. Every customer than enters a store before buying from your site is a potentially lost client, especially as brick-and-mortar retailers become increasingly adept at challenging the perceived benefits of online shopping. Below are five ways you can encourage customers to purchase on your website without having to check out the goods in a physical store.
- Display Multiple Product Images: Displaying one or two product images may not be enough to encourage a sale. Take pictures of your items from different angles, in different colors (if available), on different sized models (if clothing), or even disassembled (if possible). When customers go showrooming, they may not be able to see the goods in question in as much detail as you can provide to them through multiple product images.
- Provide Detailed Product Descriptions: One of the most important aspects of advertising is to show how your product provides a solution to your customer’s problem. Along with your typical product specs—sizes, colors, weight, quantity, etc.—you can explain how someone will benefit from your item. For instance, if you are selling all-natural vitamins, you could write, “By using our organic health supplements, you know exactly what you are putting into your body—no added fillers, no foreign chemicals, and no harmful side effects!”
- Engage in Video Commerce: Video commerce is an online shopping trend that ecommerce merchants began implementing just a few years ago. The practice allows merchants to use videos to promote and sell goods over the Internet. There are multiple ways to implement video commerce—create a YouTube channel, upload videos directly to your website, or stream your YouTube channel on your website. Typical video commerce applications will allow you to include clickable areas that will allow customers to visit a product page or even add an item directly to a shopping cart.
- Allow Customers to Leave Reviews: When customers engage in showrooming, they only have a sales pitch to rely on for information. Customer testimonials can be one of your most powerful sales techniques if implemented properly. Although you will want to approve any testimonials, you should include both positive and negative reviews. A combination of negative and positive reviews will keep the comments believable and establish a trust factor, as well as help you avoid refunds or chargebacks.
- Use Social Media to Engage Consumers: Customer service experts have been telling business owners for years to engage with consumers via social media. These networking outlets will allow you to see if people are talking about your brand as well as identify problems that your products can solve. However, there are new social networking tools—such as Pinterest or The Fancy—that will combine word of mouth marketing, product descriptions, and product images all in one.
Beat the Negative Effects of Showrooming by Optimizing Your Online Store
Do not allow potential customers to think your website is insufficient. Beat the negative effects of showrooming by optimizing your online store with the proper sales strategy.