It’s a common sight. Customers scanning items in stores to find the bigger, better deal. Especially now, it seems everyone’s looking to get quality items for the lowest price around. With smartphones being so ubiquitous, it’s almost like your business is flying out the door. It’s a jungle out there and it’s all about survival of the fittest. How do you turn the situation around? What’s going to keep business in your store? Let’s explore.
1) Challenge Showrooming: Chuck Martin refers to customers shopping, scanning and then ordering online or from lower-priced retailers as showrooming http://bit.ly/M444cR. There are two ways to tackle this. Counter-showrooming, or customer service, and reverse showrooming. Even before mobile phones, there were always situations where you had to regain control of the sale. It’s not much different now. Customer service, or paying attention to customers and going the extra mile, can diffuse a lot of difficult situations and keep money in your pocket. Reverse showrooming is like turning lemons into lemonade, as it turns scanning into money for your store. Basically reverse showrooming is using the showrooms of retailers to sell their products to people who aren’t there. Shop My Label, a consumer-to-consumer online shopping startup, aims to do just that. By partnering with stores, it allows customers to scan merchandise to put in their own virtual stores. Within those virtual stores customers can make outfits from the clothing of multiple retailers, and they receive up to 10% commission on anything they sell. Shop My Label is designed to drive full price sales and free shipping is a part of the deal. A startup like this is something that’d be especially popular with millennials, which is crucial as 75% of them always have their mobile while shopping and 73% of them already make transactions on their mobile http://bit.ly/Oz32CG.
2) Take Advantage of Indoor Mapping: IMS analyst Alex West notes that both Google and Microsoft are already mapping indoor spaces, and firms like Aisle 411, Micello and Point Inside are compiling databases of indoor maps http://bit.ly/PO016t. Shopping malls and complexes are not immune to this, but they have ways to take advantage of it. Much like reverse showrooming, malls could make use of interactive indoor maps and get customers using their stores’ apps. In fact, an interactive map should display app icons for any stores that have an app and clicking on those icons should connect customers to an immediate download. Having customers utilize apps is sure to drive more foot traffic and build more connections as convenience (ease of finding and purchasing items) would be significantly increased. Just look at Point Inside’s work with Meijer on a Find-It app, with couponing and item ordering features as well as in-store tools for finding items on certain shelves. The app even helps customers locate restrooms and the bottle return. With convenient features like these, interactive mapping and apps have the potential to revitalize and grow retail in a whole new way.
Well there you have it, three steps to success. In today’s environment you must have the edge. These up-and-coming tactics are designed to provide that edge and help you become a retail survivalist. Some you can put into effect now, and others you need to watch for and adapt to as they come. Knowing about tactics like these is half the battle, implementing them is the other half. Put both of these halves together and you are on your way to being invincible.