Reverse showrooming has been going on for a long time. It's where people conduct online research to help them in their choice to make an offline purchase. In fact, more people still buy offline after researching products online. The consumer buying cycle has changed to accommodate the ease at which information is now available.
There are many benefits to a business and ways that you can make it work as a retail business owner. The benefits of reverse showrooming are that it allows shoppers to find sales, discounts, and information about the product before coming into the store to make a purchase. In order to make reverse showrooming successful, it's important for retailers to find ways to make it work.
Know Your Customer
The only way you can please your customers is if you really know who they are. Depending on what kind of retail store you have, you have to know who is really in control of the purchasing. Today in 85 percent of households it is the woman who is in control of the family's purchasing choices. Is this true for your customer base? (http://www.she-conomy.com/facts-on-women)
Provide Unique In-Store Experiences
You want to provide the best experiences possible for your customer. After you've done the research necessary to understand your customer, you can help your team create unique in-store experiences for guests. Brand your store in a new way so that customers know that your store is a destination that provides new experiences and not just a place to buy merchandise.
Provide Personalized Customer Service
Talk to your employees and let them know that you want to do what it takes to give customers what they need. Tell them to get feedback from the customers so that they can provide the very best in personalized customer care. People want to feel unique when they go shopping and your sales force is on the front line of making that possible.
Ditch the Lines
One store that has done this is Apple. Any store could potentially accomplish the same thing by giving each salesperson the ability to check people out on the spot with an iPad. This would eliminate lines, which can be a huge detractor in wanting to make a purchase in the store. If you can eliminate blockers to buying, you can turn things around.
Empower Your Sales Associates
Sales associates are, as mentioned earlier, are at the front line of your customers' experiences. If you really want to pull out all the stops, your associates need to be highly trained, educated, and empowered to offer on-the-spot discounts, specialized help, and instant service to your customers.
Integrate New Technology
QR codes are a great way to bring technology to the experience of shopping in a store. You can promote instant coupons for those who are shopping in the store with QR codes (those funny square bar codes that can be read with a smartphone), which your guests can read on the spot for instant savings.
Create Specific Customer Loyalty Programs
By gathering your customers' information both online and offline into a database, you can use that information to offer special discounts to customers who shop in the store. They can use their email address or phone number at checkout, and don't have to carry a special card to participate. They simply have to use their number or email to take advantage of the special in-store discounts reserved for members only.
Employ the Full Power of Online Marketing
Bricks and mortar retailers should most definitely incorporate online marketing into their marketing mix. Use social media, online directories, web pages, blogs, pay per click and email marketing in order to take advantage of all online marketing avenues. Online marketing is an excellent way educate, inform and engage your audience to get more in-store visitors.
By taking advantage of all the opportunities available that reverse showrooming offers any offline business, you can ensure that you have more customers and make more sales than you thought possible as long as you embrace the new technologies. Don't fight the future; it's already here.