Message to retailers, if you are worried about Showrooming, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Showrooming would have to be one of the most talked about challenges that faces the retail industry and the battle is on to find ways to combat the growing concern as consumers use their mobile phone to price match while in store. The most interesting of these strategies was that of an Australian retailer who started to charge shoppers just for browsing.
The other day I was contacted with the invitation to speak at a retailer’s event that had a focus on addressing the issue of Showrooming. I could not accept, which is a good thing for the delegates, if I was going to talk to a bunch of retailers on this topic I think that I would scare them all to death.
WHY? When it comes to changing consumer behaviour driven by the Smartphone, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet and Showrooming is not the only thing they should be worried about.
Retailers should be delighted by the fact the path to purchase on a mobile device is ugly. The process of completing a transaction is clunky, putting in your mailing and billing address and then all your payment information just takes too long.
Retailers should be ecstatic about the security concerns that consumers have with regard to the mobile phone. This would mean that many would still be reluctant to complete an eCommerce transaction on their mobile phone. Roy Morgan found that the Internet is the most popular source for research although less than 8% are purchasing through the mobile device.
So what are retailers worried about, at least consumers are still coming into their stores. If they wanted to focus on something that will really make them unhappy they should take a look at the banks, people stopped going into branches a long time ago.
What they should be more worried about is that the day of being able to effectively engage and transact simultaneously on the mobile device is not far away. When the path to purchase on a mobile device is optimised then retailers are going to have something to really complain about, unless of course they have an effective mCommerce strategy in place.
So is all this talk about Showrooming really taking the focus away from what retailers should be really worried about?