The consumer trend of showrooming is creating a new challenge for retailers, who are finding that they have to create ways to get the attention of shoppers even when they are already browsing in-store.
Shoppers now reach for their mobile device first and their wallet second when getting ready to buy. When looking over products in-store, shoppers are likely to get out their smartphones to research product information online before finally committing to a purchase. This trend, referred to as ‘showrooming’, can even result in shoppers buying products online from a competitors’ outlet while standing in your store.
Speaking at an internet retail conference in June this year, Brian Walker, Vice-President at Forrester Research, explained: “Showrooming is about product information and social validation when a shopper is buying a product.”
This understanding of the ‘showrooming’ phenomenon is further confirmed by retail analyst and Fast Company contributor Douglas Crets who recently wrote that “shopping anywhere can make consumers lonely because they keep going from online to offline searching for the same thing – relevancy.”
Understanding what information people want to access when shopping can help consumers see how their product choice alleviates this constant search to fill the void of loneliness.
Consumer trend polling has repeatedly found that the lowest price is not the prime motivator for people’s in-store internet research. People want to confirm the range of colors and sizes a product is available in, for example, and are keen to scan reviews in which other buyers have talked about a product and shared how they use it in their lives.
Offering a connection that creates this sense of social validation when choosing a product, and being able to help a buyer envision using the product in their day-to-day life, is becoming an essential part of good visual merchandising.
Product displays that encourage people to touch and feel samples need to be combined with digital media that helps contextualize the product in an individual shoppers’ life. This approach to visual merchandising can create a bridge that short-circuits the endless showrooming search and can empower a shopper to buy.
After all, consumers have come in to your store to have their desires met, and their purchasing decision affirmed. PERCH displays specialize in overcoming this disconnect by offering retailers the chance to bring product information and social media reviews together as part of an interactive experience.
As shoppers pick up a product sample, digital media content can be choreographed to reveal further details on a product’s range of alternatives (like size, color or available accessories), show tweet feeds of current conversations about a product, link to reviews and Facebook discussions, or display images or Pinterest boards that show how others are already enjoying the product.
The PERCH Interactive approach is fast becoming a cornerstone of effective, contemporary visual merchandising. It allows retailers to focus the attention of a shopper on their initial motivations by igniting the connection between a shopper’s desire to buy with an interactive experience that shows them how the product fits into their social life outside the store.
For more on how our visual merchandising technology can enhance the retail experience, and to learn how PERCH technology can be used in specific industries and at trade shows and events, follow us on Twitter.