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Paul Hudson
Paul Hudson CEO of Intersperience
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Making the most of your retail showroom

As I am currently working with a retailer planning for a new promotion, I turned back to our recent shopping behaviour surveys for inspiration. They indicated early signs of what’s to come, only 4% are actually using mobiles to make purchases, but of those 28% made significant purchases, spending £50 -£250.
The main story (nearly 50% of smartphone users) was the use of mobile to get better deals, to be better informed about product offerings and to start negotiations in previously non-competitive spaces such as the retail shop. 

This phenomenon known as ‘showrooming’ (exploiting the shop to get a tangible feel of the product) - is upon us, we have talked about this before and it’s here to stay. So, this needs to be understood and explored for retail promotions.

This informed mobile consumer is not your enemy, they are more willing and able to engage in a debate about the value and quality of your product, which in your beautiful retail store is still an opportunity for you to win their custom, but the day has gone when the purchase decision was made before they left the house!

Practical Steps for Retailers to Explore

  1. Encourage scanning of product information with tools like QR codes but, direct them to your website or your own price comparisons
  2. Empowering your store front staff to take part in price negotiations gives them a fighting chance of winning over customers, and educating them to know the benefits of your brand over competitors should be a core part of your training. Our recent study of young people  saw teenagers going as far as suggesting retail stores should be more like ‘drop-in’ centres for advice, meeting staff and experts. If you are a shop front worker, then check you are as informed as Google!
  3. The main use of the smartphone in store is as a tool for information, so why not provide more information in store so the customer doesn’t need to seek it, be aware how your prices compare to competitors online and combat this with further warranty or guarantees, actually display a few price comparisons that show you in a favourable light and demonstrate transparency
  4. Mobile offers could be the hook that is needed for UK shoppers who love a bargain, and it doesn’t need to be high tech, just a friendly text message with a code. Our surveys show that only 14% rate mobile offers as good (compared to 38% in-store and 33% online)

In the end the simple answer is to watch, listen and learn from how people shop and keep retail stores in line with this behaviour, we are using mobile technology often as a tool for information and at the end of the day the mobile is just a means to an end, the mobile craze will pass but the customers’ expectations will continue to grow.

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