Retail stores have recently become concerned about losing sales to a practice known as showrooming. This new shopping trend takes place when customers visit a brick-and-mortar store, look at merchandise on the shelves and compare products, but leave the stores without making a purchase. Instead, they go online to competitors' websites or large web-based marketplaces, find the same items and order them for lower prices.
Sites that have been gaining from these sales - Amazon.com and eBay - have started developing mobile apps which can make showrooming easier. Customers who visit stores can use a downloaded app to scan barcodes and find out if lower prices are available online.
In response, discount chains such as Target and Walmart have developed strengthened online offerings. Target expanded its ecommerce inventory with unique products that can't be found in stores or through other vendors' web-based storefronts, according to Retail Customer Experience.
These strategies have so far been slow and ineffective at deterring the trend, reports the source. Instead of playing the online game, brick-and-mortar retailers should stick to what they do best - provide service, expertise and smiling sales associates. These simple practices can help businesses earn customer satisfaction and loyalty since shoppers can't get these online.