1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

Will 'showrooming' kill businesses?

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Gavin, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Find Finn

    Find Finn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,358
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    

    If you already know you are going to buy the product online and you then use lets say 2-3 hours going to a shop and use petrol, wear and tear on your car and parking, on most smaller items you will have used the same amount of money if not more and you have to wait to get the product you want.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  2. curzon

    curzon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,188
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Location:
    “Curzon understands the cultural nuances of our ti
    How is this "showrooming" any different than shopping around, i.e., comparison shopping, in days gone by? Now I have a greater selection of potential retailers, and those B&M locations that don't have an online presence... gotta wonder what they're thinking. I frequently purchase items from Frans Boone in the Netherlands - a B&M store more than 8000 km from my home. Long before the Internet a customer very often had to go without or at best "make do". Now the advantage is to the customer, were it ought to be.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  3. transient

    transient Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    470
    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Things are gonna need to change real fast for a lot of retailers. Places like that soccer store El Argentino described are dead meat.

    However, I can still see places with superb service shining. My example in this is REI. If you look hard enough you can probably find most of the gear they sell 5%-15% cheaper if you look hard enough. But I will still buy a lot of my gear directly from them; their staff is always enthusiastic to help and their return policy is amazing if you're a member, on top you get 10% off at the end of the year in form of dividends. I bought a zero degree sleeping bag last summer for $250 but realized recently that I want to get into ultralight backpacking which means this 4lb bag won't do me any good. No problem, I returned it a year later and they refunded me to another card. I also fucked up on sizing shoes and I simply exchanged after already wearing them. I'm not even out to abuse the return policy but the premium on their products is worth it for the piece of mind.

    Also, sometimes you find the lowest price on froogle from some obscure online retailer and you know the transaction will be a pain in the ass. You'll place the order only for them to email you a week later that it's out of stock. Or they'll fuck up the shipping, or just be generally unresponsive. This has been my experience when buying something at the floor price on eBay or online.
     
  4. Cunrad

    Cunrad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    131
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Well, I did something similar as descrbed in the OP. I wanted to buy some shoes I saw in the maker's online shop. I wanted to try the fitting of the last before ordering. So I went to alocal store carrying the brand, told them my intention of buying a specific shoe, and wanting to try it first. Since they didn't have it in stock, I said I'd order it from them instead of online. I was even willing to pay the 85,- euros premium, out of fairness etc. In the end i got a call from them saying they are not able to get the model I wanted.
    If that happens regularly at retailers it's no wonder people are using them only as showrooms.
     
  5. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,238
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    

    This argument doesn't make any sense. You are going to do this anyway by shopping at a B&M. At least if you showroom, and then go home an buy it online, you've saved yourself some money. Unless you need that item right away, there is no financial incentive for you to buy it in-store when you can get it cheaper online. This goes extra for big ticket items, where a small fractional discount easily be hundreds of dollars.
     
  6. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,238
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    

    You seem to be bemoaning the good ol days. They were never here. We just put up with shitty service (see above). Airlines are a special exception, but we can get to that in another discussion.

    Consumers won't put up with shitty service anymore. I think that's a good thing. I know good B&Ms that do not offer exclusive goods, but do well nonetheless. For example, a clothier should offer free alterations and expert measurements, and in some cases, perhaps even hand delivery (Nordstrom is famous for coming through in a pince when you are traveling and your luggage is lost). Our local appliance store offers same day delivery, free installation, and a price match guarantee. There are special things that a B&M store can offer that online merchants cannot. Like I said before, the day of being able to be moderately successful in business just buy phoning it in is gone. You have to be on your game and constantly adapting and innovating. It's really only a bad thing for lazy people.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  7. Find Finn

    Find Finn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,358
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    On big ticket items maybe not, but on smaller items like books etc. it will surely even out especially here in europe and I just find it to be a huge waste of time.


    I have an aunt who drives around to save money, she often drives 10k to save 2$, instead of walking out the door and 200m down the road and pay 2$ extra.
     
  8. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,238
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    

    You may consider it a waste of time, but whether it's worth the extra couple of minutes to save $5 is a judgement call, and many people seem to believe that their 5 minutes is worth $5 of savings.

    Your aunt is practicing false economy. That's something else altogether.
     
  9. Find Finn

    Find Finn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,358
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    

    That is why I love going to B&M stores.


    5 minutes doesn't do it, if you make a designated trip to go look at an item.


    Tell me about it it's retarded, but it's sort of the same thing when you think about it.

    For example here in Copenhagen, it costs 5,80$ an hour to park down town and petrol is 1,80-2,50$ a liter, so if you have 10km each way, how much will you have saved in the end on a smaller item?
     
  10. zippyh

    zippyh Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,369
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle-ish
    

    Is showrooming anything like copying/pasting an entire article from CNN?
    :)
     
  11. johanm

    johanm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    670
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    

    Do people really care about touching and feeling merch? I feel like I've done enough in person clothes, electronics, and home shopping that I have a good sense of a product from pictures, dimensions, and (most importantly) user reviews. Worst case scenario, I have to return it.


    If I want "help from a knowledgeable someone" I will turn to a message board or other source of user reviews. Why would you want to rely on the opinion of one guy (who might not have much experience with the item besides seeing it for sale on a rack) when you can read the opinions of many people with user experience and no interest in making a sale?
     
  12. brad-t

    brad-t Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,535
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    I think the key to success in b&m retail in the 21st century is going to be forming a culture around your shop and a relationship with your consumers. Kiya and SelfEdge has been mentioned a few times in this thread. As much as the exclusive stock is important, kiya has also succeeded in creating a culture around his store. The decor of shops is going to continue to become even more important as creating a 360 degree experience becomes essential. This also means utilizing social media and your own website to keep your product in the consumer's mind.

    I think the comparison of book stores is just not really valid. People buying $100 t-shirts are not the same as people looking for deals on books. Clothing is also a much more visual and immediate experience.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. freddych

    freddych Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    171
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    I think the real issue is not "showrooming" but losing business to online retailers in general. I think there is very few situations where a person who plans on showrooming would buy from a B&M retailer if they could not "showroom." In this way, showrooming is just an excuse for retailers to do poorly. Yes it does happen, but my view is that the customer was never going to buy anyway.

    Showrooming is a good way to sell customers impulse buy items or other smaller products. I'd argue that it is better that a customer visits a B&M store to showroom than the customer simply ordering from a website and never setting foot in the store. That traffic is good for business whether or not the customer ends up buying the item they came to the store to look at because of the opportunity to sell and the goodwill that is built from the visit (or bad will in the case they are treated rudely).

    In order to compete with online retailers, B&M stores need to add some kind of value add that justifies paying higher prices. One of the benefits to shopping B&M is instant gratification, vs waiting 2 days for amazon prime shipping. They could also match some of the other convenience aspects that come with online ordering. For instance, I love that when I shop online, my receipts are emailed to me and are stored with the retailers so I don't have to hunt for a receipt to do a return. REI does this in the B&M setting. I find myself buying B&M from REI because of their awesome return policy and service, even where I can get the same product online for cheaper.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. pickpackpockpuck

    pickpackpockpuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,314
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Location:
    BKN, NYC, USA
    

    I would say the better comparison is with a content aggregator such as the Huffington Post
     
  15. vladimir

    vladimir Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    In many cases neither the online retailer nor the customer needs the brick-and-mortar store at all—they do their "show-rooming" at home. Warby-Parker is a good example. They'll send you five pairs of eyeglasses for you to try out for a week. Any retailer with a liberal return policy is effectively doing the same thing. You can order three sizes from LLBean and return the two that don't fit, or return all three if they're not what you expected. I don't find that particularly convenient, but if I lived in the suburbs somewhere it might be a more appealing option.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  16. ballmouse

    ballmouse Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,102
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Showrooming often involves the customer benefiting by seeing the product in-person. For example, you can try on multiple pairs of shoes in a B&M store, and then purchase it online from another retailer. What the B&M store is upset with is that the customer is using its resources without actually purchasing anything.

    Of course, the bigger problem for these B&M stores is probably not showrooming, but online retailers, as many other posters have mentioned.

     
    1 person likes this.
  17. pickpackpockpuck

    pickpackpockpuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,314
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Location:
    BKN, NYC, USA
  18. GusW

    GusW Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    19,128
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    


    Thanks for posting, I had missed this announcement by Amazon. With the amazing success and profits of Net-A Porter, Amazon, with their infrastructure sees a high margin opportunity.

    Interesting....but without their massive discounts will Amazon be "cool" enough to draw the high-end consumer? I'm not sure they can do a Net-A-Porter/Mr Porter.
     
  19. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,238
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    

    You will have saved exactly the difference between the B&M and the online price. For a lot of people, this is enough. I make no value judgements. I just observe consume behavior.

    This is completely different from your aunt, who is actually losing money. The sentiment maybe the same, but that doesn't mean that the two cases are analogous.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  20. BLAUGRANA

    BLAUGRANA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,290
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    I don't see how Amazon wouldn't be "cool enough". Stuff comes from a warehouse either way and if it's the same product at a lower price with the same shipping and return options then who really cares?
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by