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How to Handle Showrooming Shoppers and Convert Them to Customers

Would it surprise you to find out that more than 60 percent of shoppers use their smartphones when they’re in a store?

Would it surprise you to find out that more than 60 percent of shoppers use their smartphones when they’re in a store?

Also known as showrooming, this is common practice. 

And while it’s still a challenge for retailers to overcome, it’s not nearly the problem it was five years ago. Today, retailers have learned to educate their salespeople, offer personalized service, and even price match to beat the competition.

Jared Simon, ​​owner of Simon’s Furniture, Mattresses, and Appliances located in Franklin, Massachusetts says that if a customer finds a lower price they will match it. “But our prices are so good you won’t find a better price for the same goods,” he adds.

Educated salespeople that can explain the value of the purchase is also a great advantage when it comes to showrooming.

“I’m sure [showrooming] happens, but it seems like a rarity,” says Greg Jent, Owner Discount Mattress Outlet. “We have an extremely high closing ratio and we basically explain how someone would have to be nuts to buy a mattress online. Mention things like the inconsistency as models change, the service after the sell being unpredictable with a 1-800 number, having to deal with donations on exchanges, supporting the community by buying from a local business.

They’ll basically agree that they want no part of that and that’s why they’re buying local.”

The retailer that will win at this game will be the one that plays along and creates a seamless marriage between their in-store experience and website. 

Offer your phone number to help with at-home buying decisions, or explain what the customer will get from the in-person deal—more time and value, quicker deliveries, and no return fees or the hassle of returns to an e-commerce site.

And think about this: with information at peoples’ fingertips through phones and tablets, over 50 percent of consumers say they seek sales staff holding tablets because it gives them instant access to information.

This is an extremely important point, because if you equip your sales team with tablets and customers do flock to them, the sales associate can help the customer compare prices, determine delivery costs, and so much more. 

Technology is here to stay, and the sooner you embrace it and learn how to work with it, the more successful your business will be. 

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