What is Showrooming?
Showrooming is the process of examining a product at a store and then going online to purchase that same product at a cheaper price. If a customer is interesting in buying a chair, curtains, or a TV, the majority of the time, that product is cheaper online from that stores competitor or even from the SAME store's website. Here is Wikipedia's definition of showrooming. This is hurting big box stores financially, but for the savvy shoppers who understand the advantages of shopping online for big ticket items, it's keeping money in their pockets. One third of customers are leaving retail stores to either shop online or from a competitor.
A recent article from MoneyTalks News entitled, "Why Retailers Are No Longer Freaked Out About Showrooming," that was also featured on Yahoo Finance, discusses the fairly new concept of showrooming. Many big box stores, such as Best Buy, Crate and Barrel, and even Rooms To Go have moved to a strategy where they use their retail store as a showroom, but limit the amount of product they have in stock in order to cut costs. The majority of their products are housed on their website whereas the showroom is largely meant for examining, or touching and feeling, the product.
Customers can certainly purchase the product at the showroom, but chances are that product will not be in stock and will have to wait for delivery anyhow. It's simply getting harder and harder to purchase big ticket products, such as headboards, at the store. So why have big box stores implemented this strategy? Showrooming has been a major influence on why stores have moved to this strategy.
The positive side is the customer is able to touch and feel a product before the purchase, but there are still many people who like to avoid the process of showroom shopping altogether, hence the major growth of online shopping during the past decade. Typical furniture costs, in our case, are vastly decreased online because companies eliminate many of the overhead costs associated with showrooms.
- Brilliant cartoon from Tom Fishburne with the Marketoonist.com
Additional benefits of online shopping:
1. Incredible convenience
2. Instant price comparisons
3. Access to customer reviews - see our reviews on Yelp for instance
4. More product choices - online shops don't have shelving and space constraints
These statements are solely the option of BedBoards Design Co. We'd be interested to hear your feedback too. Are you a showroomer or do you like avoiding showrooms altogether? Please contact us and let us know about any recent experiences you had with showrooming.
BedBoards Design Co.