Will 'showrooming' kill businesses?

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

  1. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    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


  2. Find Finn

    Find Finn Senior member

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    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.
     


  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    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.
     


  4. Find Finn

    Find Finn Senior member

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    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?
     


  5. zippyh

    zippyh Senior member

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


  6. johanm

    johanm Senior member

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    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?
     


  7. brad-t

    brad-t Bae Blade

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    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.
     


  8. freddych

    freddych Senior member

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    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.
     


  9. pickpackpockpuck

    pickpackpockpuck Senior member

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


  10. vladimir

    vladimir Member

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    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


  11. ballmouse

    ballmouse Senior member

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    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.

     


  12. pickpackpockpuck

    pickpackpockpuck Senior member

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  13. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     


  14. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    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


  15. BLAUGRANA

    BLAUGRANA Senior member

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    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?
     


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