Rule #1 in sales:
close the deal. You invested big money to draw them into your stores. You have to close the deal or you loose.
Mike Wehrs, a columnist for Luxury Daily, wrote an interesting column where he stated there was a phenomenon habit occurring in-stores preventing the traffic a retailer brings in from making an immediate purchase. ”Half of all people who buy products online first go to a bricks-and-mortar store to do their research, according to a recent ClickIQ survey of 900 shoppers. Known as “show-rooming,” this habit is taking an increasingly large bite out of retailers’ bottom lines.
In many cases, consumers buy the product for less from an online-retailer rather than from the actual store or the Web site of the merchant where they just shopped. This trend makes it more critical than ever for retailers to provide an integrated shopping experience across multiple touch points through the path to purchase.
The show-rooming trend is being fueled by the growing selection of smartphone applications that make it fast and convenient for shoppers to compare prices and find relevant deals while in the store.
Today, 29% of consumers who use a smart-phone to research a product while in a retail store end up buying the item from an online-only retailer, ClickIQ found. The survey also found that men engage in smartphone-enabled showrooming the most.
But savvy retailers are already turning show-rooming from a problem into an opportunity by using the mobile medium to engage shoppers, educating them about their products, and delivering relevant deals available only in the store.
Increasingly their strategies center around QR codes as an easy way to bring shoppers to a control-led and extremely targeted experience. For example, Best Buy, Home Depot and Staples are among the retailers that have added QR codes to their bricks-and-mortar stores. They make it convenient for shoppers to get more information about a product from that merchant rather than from a competitor such as an online retailer.
This really is a win-win since most consumers prefer to get their product immediately–they just want a fair deal. Retailers can leverage this preference by using QR codes to close the sale, and even increase the basket size.
QR codes “provide a number of benefits to our customers such as immediate access to our video, product and how-to content and the ability to purchase online from their smartphone,” said Tom Sweeney, Homedepot.com senior director of online strategy. “We know our customers are already using their mobile device to assist in the purchasing process, and now Home Depot is embracing this technology to more closely connect our stores and customers to our digital content,” he said. A recent Nielsen survey of U.S. smartphone owners found that 57% scan QR codes while in electronics stores. At department stores, 36% said they scan QR codes.
Show-rooming is a habit that is here to stay. For retailers, the good news is that this presents an enormous opportunity to show shoppers that the best buys often are available right where they are standing.
We really do live in a new DNAge.
In planning your marketing communications plan…Think MOBILEFirst.
Lance Hanish is Co-Founding Partner in CNA | Sophis Integrated Marketing Communications.
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