Retail Renovation Singapore
If you’re a shop owner and haven’t heard of the term “showrooming”, you’re in desperate need of a rethink and renovation.
The word was coined in 2012 to describe shoppers’ practice of checking out a product in the store but leaving empty handed with the intention of buying it online for less.
With online retail booming as smartphone usage grows, showrooming is a worrying trend for traditional brick and mortar retailers around the world.
It’s especially high in Singapore.
A 2013 consumer survey in England found that 43 per cent of shoppers use their smartphones to compare prices and read product reviews while in stores.
Here, that figure is 78 per cent, according to a 2014 study conducted by DigitasLBi. That survey also found that 73 per cent said that they’d leave if they found the product 5 per cent cheaper somewhere else.
This doesn’t spell the end of traditional shops; just the ones that don’t know how to win their customers’ loyalty.
Apart from keeping prices competitive, savvy shop owners are leveraging on their greatest advantage over online retailers, and are revamping their stores into more welcoming spaces for their target customers.
In embracing showrooming, these stores are spaces that entice shoppers to stay. A couch in the corner, a little café incorporated into the retail space, softer lighting instead of fluorescent, you get the drift.
The more forward-thinking retailers embrace technology too, particularly if their customers are tech savvy.
Rather than frown on young adults staring into their iPhones or Samsung Galaxies while browsing in store, these retailers are encouraging it.
The “digitally enabled” store aims to create digital shopping “experiences” for shoppers in store.
Burberry, for instance, offers shoppers at its flagship stores free use of iPads, and full-length video screens which convert into mirrors, and play catwalk videos when it detects a piece of clothing carried by a shopper brought close by.
Gadgets and gimmicks aside, it still comes down to getting the customer to embrace your retail space, by making it feel just like home both physically and psychologically through customer service.
Try having that welcoming couch in the middle of the store, and make sure your staffers invite customers to sit down and feel at home.