Showrooming. One of the biggest threats of this day and age facing the traditional retailer on the high street. Consumers walk into the shop in droves, getting extensive information from the helpful staff, and then order the items online. At least, that’s what the retailers are telling us.
But is this actually true? 80% of the population has a smartphone, but I can’t help but feel that the majority of all these people have other things on their mind than looking up retail prices. Perhaps they are just shopping around. After all, you see people in the shops sending apps all the time, like a photo to the home front: “What do you think, babe. Should I buy it?” Why not simply do a search for “fitting room selfie” on Googles Images or Instagram? You’ll soon realise that there are plenty of people sharing their potential purchase online right from the store.
But the notion that customers stroll into retail stores with the premeditated idea to score bountiful information and inspiration from the expert store staff, only to use this newly acquired knowledge to buy the item online, makes no sense at all in my honest opinion.
In fact, exactly the opposite is true. People go online to explore what’s for sale and often already know what’s available and at what price before even setting foot in the store. Internet has now taken over the brochure as the main source of orientation. Moreover, as a consumer you know by now that nine times out of ten you’ll be ‘informed and inspired’ by a dispassionate, untrained Saturday temp anyway. The price tags don’t offer much help either: about three lines of half-baked information.