IBM management made a presentation at this year’s NRF convention, and RetailWire panelists weighed in on the subject of “showrooming.” The premise of IBM’s findings is that consumers engaged in price comparisons on their mobile phones while in your store are a great potential source of sales, not people to be discouraged from shopping. Here’s my point of view:
The “showroom” consumer is committed enough to the buying process to walk into your store in the first place. The IBM study is absolutely correct that these are prime targets for converting a store visit into a sale. It’s up to the retailer (Best Buy, for example) to figure out how to make this happen, with a combination of a price-matching policy and a more engaged sales team. The “showroomers” are early adapters of technology and ought to be prized by retailers, not shunned by them.