Georgi Roberts  |  Thursday January 10th 2013
Showrooming is very real and changing the way many of us make purchases, even in store. Even more so now, retailers will need to keep on their toes and be innovative to stay ahead of online shoppers.

Showrooming is the practice of checking prices / product information, on smart phones whilst actually in-store, and with our love of the smartphone (and in the case of Australia, that’s big love), this is having a huge impact on how we make purchases. 

According to recent research 24% of Australian smartphone users take their phones with them when shopping to research
products, and 22% of them change their minds while in-store about a
purchase after completing a mobile search. (Our mobile planet: Australia – understanding the mobile consumer’ report) 

So what about Australian businesses? What are they doing?
Using smart devices in store
It seems that there is a solid ‘bricks and mortar’ price match policy
around most players, but can this really last if online shopping
continues to undersell?

Retail is in trouble if it doesn’t come up with a solution for this one.
There is already a struggle as online shopping continues to increase
its share of the Australian retail market.

Evan’s Cycles (a bike store in the UK) placed codes on every bike so
users could go to their website whilst in store to find out more
information. Other retailers in London offer free wi-fi , to also exert some form
of control.

The control, the communication, the hold of the shopper whilst in the
store needs to be leveraged and capitalised upon. Retailers need to show
in-store offers with innovation – 30% off for the next 30 minutes and
promote this through\ your social media, your website, your blogs.

By being innovative in store, retailers can give consumers a shopping
experience that makes it worth their while to spend that extra $5 or
$10, particularly if they can’t price match. Other successful in store
techniques include kids colouring in areas with video games, champagne
and shopping evenings – at least put the cricket on the TV whilst the
test matches are on!

The worst thing that retailers can do is ignore what’s happening.  This
smartphone thing isn’t going away and retailers will need to learn (quickly) how to embrace it and make it work for them.