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Can you tell the difference between webrooming and showrooming? Abacus Solutions explores how you can make this aspect of ‘on-line’ really work for you!
Here at Abacus, web designers for furniture retailers, we understand this is a very tricky area to address. When we started to think about how we could force on-line to work positively for furniture independents, we did our research. We discovered a few internet insights that might well prove useful to you and your business- let us let you in on what we now know…
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The Big Picture

As a ‘Bricks and Mortar’ store owner, rental charges, wages, utility bills and overheads can be tough and the reason why actual retail outlets can struggle to compete with their on line counterparts. Plus, consumers are increasingly reliant on smart phones and the internet to browse in an altogether different way to consumer habits of even ten years ago, often with the sole purpose of price comparison in mind… Forewarned is forearmed- how can you overcome the potential pitfalls and make the web work for you? Understanding customer wants and internet habits are the preliminary steps.

The Research

Google discovered that a whopping 43% of shoppers reported leaving an actual store frustrated due to a lack of information. A huge 71% felt that their smartphone proves vital for the purpose of research and obtaining information before committing to and making a purchase. Three out of four shoppers reported being inspired to visit ‘bricks and mortar stores’ after successfully obtaining information such as: in-store availability, store location, opening hours or pricing. But 25% of shoppers reported steering clear of a local retailer altogether if availability is dubious. Therefore, an up-to-date and highly informative website is likely to drive footfall your way. Simple.
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The Phenomenon!

Now onto the bit we really like: webrooming and showrooming! Showrooming- the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional ‘concrete’ retail store or other offline setting, and then buying it online, sometimes at a lower price. Webrooming: customers research a product online, then buy in a store. A ‘showrooming’ customer needs to be guided from your actual store back onto your on-line store whilst a ‘webrooming’ customer needs to be given all the information possible in order to entice them into your actual store. Therefore, the website and shop floor experience need to be seamlessly woven together through ‘Omni-Channel’ marketing.

Our Hints For Targeting Webrooming & Showrooming

But how exactly can you manage this? For a simple starting point, ensure that your website is up-to-date and well managed. Are your prices accurate? Is stock availability easy to obtain? Are your product pages explanatory and are product images of good quality? All these areas will encourage those webroomers either into your store or to fill up their cyber carts! Consider using your website to generate your in-store brochure and use ipads to allow consumers to access your on-line catalogue while in store. Your typical showroomer will love the fact that they can be in the store AND browse on line at the same time!
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We know that the internet and on-line retail can seem an unmanageable threat to many independents but it really does not have to be like that. Knowing how people use the internet and making some simple changes can be the answer to making the most of your on line presence. If you require any further information or support, feel free to contact us via the routes listed below.
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Abacus Furniture Solutions
39 Burton Street
S6 2HH
07748 116126

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