Tag Archives: showrooming

Mobile Technology and Retail Staff

Over the past couple of posts, we’ve looked at how many consumers are “showrooming” and the reasons why they use a mobile device in-store.  Today, we’ll look things from the retail associates point of view.  At the end of the day, most of your staff wants to help shoppers and for you to be successful.   It could be that they know that if customers are not satisfied they will shop elsewhere and that could jeopardize your ability to keep them on.  A recent report looked at how retail associates viewed mobile technologies and the impact it could have on shopping.

shutterstock_87422684• Almost half of shoppers said that they have a better experience when sales associates use technologies to
assist them

• Two-thirds of surveyed retail associates recognized the positive effect of mobile loyalty account access on the shopper experience

• Over 80% of retail associates thought that improving in-store communication between managers and staff would have a positive effect on shopper satisfaction

• Nearly 60% of retail associates think that mobile point of sale promotion made for better shopping experience

• More than six in 10 retail managers agreed that they need more real-time information to ensure that customers are satisfied

What Does This Mean To You?

As we embark on a new year, it’s time to take a fresh look at how your company utilizes technology.  Many small companies cannot afford to outfit their sales staff with mobile devices, but would it be worth it to install free wi-fi and stipend customer service staff for part of their data plan?  While this investment might be tough during budget conscious times, it could end up saving you money and customers in the long run.

• Over 70% of shopping-related walkouts resulted in lost sales

• Each abandonment occurrence resulted in an average loss of $118

• Retailers can recover 69% of out-of-stock incidents if retail associates can offer in-store ordering and home shipping

A strong mobile strategy will not only help engage consumers but also help you generate more in-store sales and stay connected with your staff.  For more information on becoming more mobile-ly enabled, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Research Manager

Source: Motorola


Why Consumers Are Using Mobile Devices In-Store

n many studies, the top reason consumers are using their devices
in-store is to comparison shop. This is the first step in “showrooming”.
While it would be near impossible to stop customers from
“showrooming”, it is not the only reason why consumers engage in mobile activity while shopping. A new report looked at reasons beyond comparison shopping and  found takeaways that could help your business retain more in-store sales.


Nearly two-thirds of 18-34 year olds and over half of 35-49 year olds used a mobile device for shopping related activities. Even one-third of Baby-Boomers did the same

• 46% of 18-34 year olds and 36% of 35-49 year olds said it’s faster to use their mobile device to find product information than ask a store associate

• Just one in five Baby-Boomers said it was easier to get information off their mobile device vs. a store associate

• Baby boomers are four times more likely to increase their spending when assisted by an associate than by consulting self-service technology

• Overall, nearly half of consumers reported that a helpful associate motivates them to spend more in-store

What Does This Mean To You?

Customer service may be one of the keys to minimizing “showrooming”. While it will probably never eliminate it, a great consumer experience will help keep spending in your physical location. In fact, an educated, helpful staff could lead to customers spending more money.
What training does your staff undertake?
Do you have a staff training plan for ongoing learning?
How knowledgeable are they about the products you sell?
Would you consider them a helpful resource for shoppers?
An investment in training will pay off in saved sales. In tomorrow’s post we’ll look at how store associates feel about mobile, technology and its impact on customer satisfaction. For more information on the best ways your business can employ mobile solutions and keep more sales in-store, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Motorola

Holiday “Showrooming”

“Showrooming” is becoming a problem for many retailers – especially the big box variety.  Best Buy in particular felt an impact this holiday season.  Best Buy estimated that upwards of 40% of their physical store traffic has no intention of making a purchase – they are there to “showroom”.  According to a recent study, there are some interesting comparisons on how consumers used mobile devices this year vs. last year.

b7_cart_concepts_2011_b5v2• Nearly three-quarters of smart phone owners made a holiday purchase on their smart phone this year, that’s a jump of over 25% year over year

• Almost eight in 10 tablet owners made a holiday purchase this year, a slight increase of 7% from last year

• There was a slight decline in the amount of desktop machine owners making purchases – evidence suggests that they switched to a mobile device to make a purchase

• Nine in 10 smart phone owners have “showroomed” with their devices; over half of tablet owners have done the same

• Men were 17% more likely to “showroom” than women

What Does This Mean To You?

Mobile devices are a part of our everyday lives.  Every day, new apps, new functions and improved user experiences push consumers towards mobile.  While you can’t stop people from using their devices in stores, you can harness the power of mobile and use it to your advantage.
Mobile enabled loyalty programs and in-store mobile experiences can keep you competitive and your store top of mind.  Excellent customer service is also something that can give you the advantage over another store or an online competitor. In tomorrow’s post, we’ll look at why consumers use mobile in store and how some retail executives plan to use mobile to make a better experience for their customers.  For more information on creating effective mobile strategies, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: TechBargains; Best Buy

What Shoppers Want

Many businesses are worried about the “showrooming” affect.  “Showrooming” is when consumers shop for a product in-store but wind up making the purchase digitally.  New research on the wants of holiday shoppers can help you create innovative digital tactics that will help keep shoppers spending money in your physical location.

shutterstock_50109352• Seven in 10 shoppers agreed that stores need to do more to enhance the in-store shopping experience

• Nearly 80% said they want the ability to make a purchase in-store, but have it shipped home free

• Nearly six in 10 wanted interactive kiosks or displays that offered addition product information or product recommendations

• 56% wanted exclusive in-store mobile offers

• Nearly 60% wanted an easy mobile payment option

What Does This Mean To You?

From yesterday’s post, we know that digital shopping is only going to increase.
In fact, almost six in 10 smart phone owners reported that they “showroomed” this holiday season.
While some of these customer “wants” may not be feasible or technologically possible for many small retailers, but they do point to some things you may be able to provide.

• Shipping options – Free shipping may not be possible for every purchase, but you may want to investigate free or reduced shipping for purchases made over a certain dollar amount.

• Customer service – While digital kiosks are something that would be great – it’s really about customer service.  A recent study showed that consumers want your store personal to be knowledgeable about the products you sell and the offers you have.   A great customer experience can turn a consumer into a loyal customer.  Ensuring your staff is well trained is a cornerstone of great customer service

• Discounts and Offers – Mobile coupons and exclusive mobile offers are very popular and can help you increase sales.  More important than the coupons and offers is a loyalty program that includes them. Loyalty programs can help you create targeted offers that have value to the shopper and turn your messages into something they find important

• Mobile payment – This is one to watch.  Making payments, including point of sale, could be the next big thing consumers rely on their mobile device for.  It will all depend on the user experience.  When evaluating vendors, pay attention to the ease of use.  Stay away from anything that seems too clunky.  If a solution is not quick and easy consumers will not use it

For many businesses, keeping shoppers in-store is an imperative and there are digital tools and programs that can help you.  For more information on creating success from digital, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; GfK Roper; SapientNitro

How Consumers Use Smart Phones In-store During Holiday Shopping

There is mounting evidence that “showrooming” will be commonplace this holiday season.  One of the benefits that mobile consumers find while shopping is that smart phones give them all the information they need.  This can lead to showrooming.  Smart phone functionality can also be used to reinforce the value of making purchases in stores.

shutterstock_117336892• Close to 70% of holiday shoppers said they will use their smart phones in stores this year

• Nearly 60% of these “smart” shoppers are planning to check or compare prices

• Roughly four in 10 will get product information or scan a barcode associated with products

• 36% will use mobile devices to find discounts, coupons or other information on sales

• Over one-third will read reviews

• Just under a quarter will check product availability mobil-ly

• Approximately one in five shop or browse via mobile web

• 16% receive text messages or exclusive offers from retailers

• 14% plan to access social networks on their mobile device

• Roughly one in 10 will use geo-location applications

What Does This Mean To You?

Mobile’s affect on all shopping – not just holiday buying – is going to continue to grow. During the holidays, when consumers are short on time, making purchases  for the best deals – mobile’s impact is just amplified.  Some of the mobile activities that consumers engage in can help you mitigate “showrooming”.  Nearly 40% of shoppers are scanning bar codes.  Utilizing QR with custom messages promoting the value of shopping in-store can sway shoppers to complete there purchases in-store.  Permission-based SMS campaigns can being the same affect.  Using virtual testimonials in your social entities are also something that can draw traffic in-store and keep keep them shopping there.  Consumers are looking for the quickest and easiest way to get through the holidays – but they also don’t want to pay too much. If you leverage mobile functionality to keep sales in-store, you will diminish the affect “showrooming” can have on your business.  For more information on how mobile can make your holiday sales stronger, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Deloitte

Holiday Shopping – In-Store Vs. Online

Many people believe that the holidays bring out the best in others.  There are gifts, lights, presents & family all around.  Then there’s holiday shopping, which often does not bring out the best in many people.  A new study is out that looks at why people shop for the holidays in stores vs. online.

• 30% of shoppers prefer
to shop online to avoid
the crowds

• 22% say they would rather shop in a store to look and feel products before purchasing

• 17% like to buy online because they feel they can get the best deal there

• 11% prefer to shop in stores because they like to browse while holiday shopping

• 10% like to shop in a store because they enjoy the experience of holiday shopping

• 6% would rather shop online because there is a bigger range of products online

What Does This Mean To You?

Whether you are trying to attract shoppers to your physical location or your virtual storefront, you need to develop a sound strategy to create awareness and drive traffic.  There are many options available across a variety of platforms.  You can create your message through digital, print, direct & broadcast – these are just a few of the media options available to you.
The best way to start any campaign is by asking yourself two questions:
Who is my target consumer?
What are my goals and objectives?
Two answers that are really unacceptable –
Everyone as a target consumer & make more money as a goal.
These answers have to be actionable.
Because these two things allow you target your message and be much more effective and efficient.
It also lets you compare your campaigns and determine if they were successful.
For more information on creating a strategy to maximize your message and get results,, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Accenture

How Many Consumers Are “Showrooming”?

Many businesses have concerns about “showrooming” – the practice where consumers find and compare products at brick and mortar stores and use that information to make better online purchases.  A new research study has been released that shows how extensive the practice is among mobile shoppers.

• Over 40% of tablet and smart phone owners have researched products in a stores but purchased the item online

• Among those who showroomed nearly 30% will always or often purchase online

• The majority of “showroomers” purchased items at a lower price

• The top categories of merchandise that was “showroomed” was home electronics (50%) and tech devices (44%)

• Four in ten “showroomers” purchased entertainment items such as books, DVDs and CDs

• 31% purchased apparel and 29% bought shoes

• Nearly one in four purchased traditional computers

What Does This Mean To You?

The holidays are responsible for up to 40% of many businesses total sales. As we head into the holidays, you should ask yourself – How is my business prepared for “Showrooming”? There are many things you can do to keep sales instead of losing them to online competitors.

• Price Matching – The ability to have it the same day, instead of waiting for shipping, can be a powerful incentive

• Free or Reduced Shipping – Very often shipping charges are exceedingly high.  Free shipping was the top purchase determiner last holiday season among online shoppers.  If you can’t offer free shipping consider discounted shipping dependent on the amount of money spent

• Free/Expedited Set up, Delivery and Disposal – These are charges that many online shoppers don’t realize until they are making the purchase.  At that point, they are already out of the physical store and who knows if they will return.

• Easy Return and Exchange – Returning gift items can often be a nuisance.  Returning or exchanging gifts purchased online can be downright excruciating.  Promoting an quick and easy return and exchange policy can be a something that turns a shopper into a buyer

Competition for shoppers will be fierce this holiday season.  Keeping shoppers engaged  from the time they step in the door to the time they finish the purchase is important.  Make sure your staff is aware of the benefits you offer customers who make in-store purchases.  For more information on using digital tools to increase in-store shopping, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Sacramento Bee; CouponCabin.com; Harris Interactive