As the holiday season approaches, retailers have a lot of planning to do. Marketing campaigns need to be thorough and expansive and stock orders have to grow to make up for the rising number of shoppers. With the rapid growth of mobile price comparison apps and online shopping venues like Amazon, holiday shoppers are continually taking part in a retailer’s nightmare: showrooming.
Showrooming happens when a customer comes into a store to browse product options, but decides to buy the product online. Customers often feel that the deals offered online are cheaper. Consequently, brick-and-mortar businesses are standing to lose up to 20% of business due to showrooming. And while your product might be sold in the end online, strong relationships with retailers are more likely to be stable and profitable if SMBs encourage and support the revenues of their partners.
1. Offer Holiday Deals
If the retailer can convince the customer that what they’re offering has more overall value, they will be more likely to buy in-store. For example, some studies have found 50% of customers consider coupons “very important” in the purchasing decision process. Just as coupons offer a deal to customers, SMBs can offer “deals” to their retailers.
Last year, holiday shopping accounted for over 19% of the retail industry’s yearly sales. That means that during this holiday season, retailers stand to order more of your product than usual. Offer them discounts on bulk orders or allow them to showcase new product in the store. When your retail partner saves, they can better pitch your product to customers by sending out waves of in-store only coupons, forcing the customer to come in to take advantage of them. The retailer attracts in-store customers, and your product is sold.
2. Offer Trustworthy Reviews
Everyone likes to know they are making the right choice. Some customer groups, like millennials, rely heavily on reviews. In fact, 60% of them seek advice before making a purchasing decision. Vendors can help their retail partners boost sales by having reps post customer reviews in-store. Instead of seeing the web as your enemy, use it to your advantage. If your retailer doesn’t have sufficient reviews of your product, pull great reviews from the web and produce them in physical form for your reps to put up in-store.
By posting reviews next to product displays, you make it convenient and easy for customers to compare their options in the store. If your retailer is hesitant to this idea, remember to tell them that studies show the easier you make it for a customer to make a decision, the more likely they are to buy. The combination of trust and ease of navigation that in-store reviews offer can drive up retail sales.
3. Provide Limited Edition Products
Another way to help your retail partners combat holiday showrooming is by offering them exclusive products. In the CPG industry, for example, many businesses are testing the market for new products with limited edition offerings. If done correctly, limited edition products and their unique packaging can offer many benefits to your SMB like reinforced brand identity and positive emotional connection to products.
Help your retail partner by offering in-store only, limited edition products during the holiday season. This will allow you to test market a new product in a small venue at little financial risk. In addition, your retail partner will want to advertise the exclusive product, as it will bring customers in and limit showrooming. While any new product is fine, try going for something with a holiday theme, as many customers are looking to buy products for seasonal parties and gatherings.
Showrooming in the holiday season may seem like an inevitable pest, but there are steps vendors can take to help their retail partners combat the issue. While these three strategies are independently effective, consider putting the power of all three together. You should offer product order deals to retailers, provide trustworthy customer reviews, and test limited edition products. While these three strategies will take extra effort and time, each of them offers a unique advantage to vendors during their end of year business and aids retail partners in the fight against showrooming.