I love it when a new phenomenon comes around that give marketers something to worry about and to debate. I’m sure you have heard of showrooming. Even if you haven’t heard the term, you’ve probably done it.
Showrooming is when you are standing in Target, considering buying an Ipad and you pull out your smart phone and look up the pricing of the same product on Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. Chances are, you’ll find it for a little cheaper, which then leaves you to decide if you head to the Target check-out with just the red velvet cookies, the $9 polka-dot push-up bra, and three plastic chairs for your patio, or if you add the Ipad to your not-as-random-as-it-seems collection of purchases. As you can imagine, Target, and other big retailers, are spending a lot of money, energy, and brain power to come up with ways to push your decision in their favor.
The battles around showrooming are in full swing. Amazon has offered permanent price-matching, so has Target. So at least they have neutralized each other. There are also apps that recognize when you are in a store like Best Buy and they can immediately offer you a coupon if you buy today. From a non-tech point of view, exclusive product like Target’s designer appliances, bikes, and bedding also battle that option of looking at competitors and leaving with only a $.99 bag of popcorn.
It makes sense that big retailers would first focus on themselves, their products, and their competitors, those are concrete concepts that are easily spit-balled in conference rooms. But I gotta say, what about me? Isn’t it all about me? I am the customer after all. If you want me to pledge my loyalty and devote all my dollars to you, then I need to be wooed. I need to know that you see me as individual and that you care about my point of view. Here are three things that big retailers should be doing to increase loyalty.