John Coulter looks at the benefits showroomers can bring

‘Annoy showroomers at your peril’

Target Components’ business advisor John Coulter explains why he thinks showrooming visitors are heaven-sent.

Showrooming causes dismay – no-one likes to be shopped.Yet the reality is it’s always gone on. Shoppers shop – it’s what they do. The problem is smartphones don’t just make showrooming (comparing in-store and online prices while shopping) easy – they make it visible. However humiliating it may feel, how much do you want their business?

Research shows the biggest reason shoppers have a bad experience is rude staff. And what you think in your head will show in your behaviour. If showroomers make your blood boil, beware, they’ll pick up on it and soon they won’t like you either.

While some may think ‘good riddance’, consider this: the same research shows 82 per cent of customers who have a bad experience will stop using you. And 79 per cent of them will tell others about it. As a specialist retailer it’s not your prices that define you, it’s your reputation. So you annoy showroomers at your peril. The hardest part of winning new business is getting people to visit. And while showrooming may be demeaning, it only happens if someone crosses your threshold.You have a choice: you can sit back and hope they’ll buy, or you can welcome and talk to them.

Showrooming visitors are heaven-sent. They give you the perfect excuse to talk and impress not just the showroomer, but everyone else there too. You can show everyone how much you care about their custom. You can openly demonstrate your product knowledge. You can show your price consciousness as you put your own pricing in perspective. Critically, you can persuade them to buy.

Showrooming is just part of retailing in the 21st century. It’s a challenge of our time – retailers have faced their own throughout history. You won’t cure it by getting annoyed or upset. But ramp up your retailing and you’ll not just tackle it – you’ll win more business.

John Coulter is Business Adviser at Target Components

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