Showrooming is a word that we keep hearing more and more often and we think that dealing with this must really stink (for lack of a better word) for the many independent practices that rely on our services. We LOVED this post from our friends over at The Optical Vision Site and thought you may enjoy it too. Check it out!
From the OVS Blog:
Showrooming is a new word- and pretty much what it means- a consumer comes in the store takes a picture, goes home and buys the product online for maybe a cheaper price. The brick and mortar store becomes a ‘showroom’ for online retailers. Showrooming is based upon 2 premises 1.) That online product is cheaper 2.) That lower prices alone are the only reason the people buy.
A recent study says that consumers think brick and mortar stores will become showrooms by year 2020. (Source) In fact by 2016 it is predicted that more than 1/2 the retail sales will be influenced by the web.
Show-rooming effects every retailer, not just optical. In fact in an effort to combat showrooming. Target has pushed their suppliers to give them an exclusive on products, added more product they offered online and is sending text messages on coupons to consumers. In their efforts to combat showrooming, Wal-Mart is offering on-site pick-up for online orders so consumers can avoid shipping fees.
A Pew Internet and American Life Project story in January 2012 study suggests that people are still purchasing in-store
- 35% bought from the retailer’s store location where they were comparison-shopping
- 19% percent bought online
- 8% went to another store
Despite all of horror stories the good news is that brick and mortar stores like Apple are growing, Microsoft is opening stores, Warby Parker has been opening POP-up stores as well as kiosks and it is rumored that Amazon, eBay and Google, Piperlime are looking at brick and mortar locations to support their online presence.
So what do you do when a brand shows up online at a discount? First don’t freak out and send the product back. There may be many reasons that brand is discounted online and the supplier may not realize it. This brings me back to the days that Maui Jim sold Cost-Co their discounted frames. First call Supplier first to find out 1.) If they know 2.) Is this current product 3.) Is this a sales stragey or a one time thing.
Back to the Point of our post!
10 Ways To Combat Showrooming
1.) Price your products appropriately. The days are gone of taking a $5.00 frame and marketing it up to $200.00. The consumer knows, and you do not want the consumer telling all their friends how over-priced you are. Price your products appropriately at keystone or a little above keystone. If you need more margin, focus on 2nd pair sales, add-ons and accessories.
2.) Carry Unique Product and carry color. You might even consider Private Label. Evaluate what products are heavily discounted online, and while you may carry that product, carry the colors to make the product pop and encourage in-store buys.
3.) Merchandise- Merchandise and Re-Merchandise. Wonder why we have been running so many ‘merchandising’ posts- Yep, the one thing about buying online the product looks bor…ing. Merchandising can not be duplicated via an iPhone. Set up a merchandising calendar, hire a merchandiser to do your windows and displays.. and entice those patients..
4.) Deliver Customer Service And Add value- yes, Give away a FREE good personalized Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, Give Away FREE, Personalized Lens Cleaner, Add in a Screwdriver Kit, have iChats with your patients, set up personalized trunk shows, go way over and beyond what you are currently doing now… Nothing can beat the human interaction factor.
5.) Data-Mine better Send text or email notifications (coupons, discounts, new products) to patients – - that are relevant based on purchase history. Beef Up your software now in order to make this happen and make it easier to communicate with your patients. Try the Edge
6.) Train, Train and Train employees. Your employees should know more that online retailers. Send them to trade shows, have in-office training program.
7.) Beef up your website NOW- Do not pass go.. Website should be mobile friendly and SEO optimized. Using local SEO, store locators, google maps, google locator will help you get found..
8.) Coupons- I know many people don’t discount, unfortunately the market for people who do not want to pay full price is almost over. Google Shopping’s paid ads provide a link for downloading coupons. RetailMeNot has a new app for iPhones with money-saving features designed to help retailers keep consumers in stores with discounts.
9.) Market the Buy Local- Consumers may not realize how much they are hurting themselves community-wise by purchasing online. See our stories on Buying Local . Practice What You Preach, buy local yourself and support the community and make sure you let your suppliers and patients know about this.
10.) Track, Track and Track. – Using software such as The Edge, you can track your sales metrics and using your webserver or google analytics you can track hits, ad campaigns, top pages and more. As an example:
- Aggregate results seen by a national retailer and a global dealership client, using an automated Local (Maps), Organic (SEO) and Mobile (Smartphone) SaaS solution, designed for enterprise multi-location businesses (Source and more info on the site)
Online To In-Store Foot Traffic – National Retailer
- 60%+ of total Web users clicked on Operating Hours
- 16%+ of mobile users clicked on Maps
- 5% of total Web users clicked on Driving Directions
- 2.7% of Web users clicked on Shop Online
Bottom Line- Gone are the days, of open the doors and they will come. Retailers have to know consumer behavior, be able to mesh online and brick and mortar strategies in order to compete today. It is up to every retailer to make themselves unique and differentiate themselves from their competition (online and otherwise).
Resources (if not linked above)
What are you doing to combat showrooming in your eyecare practice?
Without further adieu, we present the final post of our Different Mindsets of a Tradeshow Attendee series - the fashionista/shopper. Ahhh, fashion and shopping, two things we could talk about for days. And also two things that Vision Expo West has covered! There's something great about walking through the Frames section of the show floor and seeing all of the promotional graphics for the different designers. It adds a bit of glamor to the industry and we're ALL for that! Shopping on the show is definitely happening in the frames section of the show floor, but that's only the beginning. Vision Expo is also an opportunity for attendees to take advantage of great deals on nearly everything their practice could ever need, from equipment to software. Here are some of our recommendations for the Fashionista or Shopper in you (Both at the show AND in Vegas):
You can check out the Eyewear and Accessories pavilion to get your fill of frame fashion. L'Amy is going to be previewing the newest sunglass and optical offerings from Chloe, Columbia, Theory, and Nina Ricci in their booth, #16043. In addition to their Ray-Ban and their house brands, Vogue and Persol, Luxottica will be in booth #16024 showcasing their licensed brands which include Bvlgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce&Gabbana, Donna Karan, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany, Tory Burch, and Versace. Marchon will also exhibiting in booth #17107 with great brands like Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Coach, dvf, Michael Kors, and Jil Sander.
Now, if you want to prepare yourself before the show, we definitely recommend that you check out the Eyecessorize Blog to get caught up on the trends. They post a ton of great information! You can also head over to the What's New section of 20/20's website to get up-to-date on trends so that you're completely ready!
Okay, if you're shopping, the most important thing you can do is check out the Vision Expo's site and to go the Show Planner. Once you're there (it's on the home page), check out the Show Special section by clicking on the icon that looks like a tag. You can view discounts and rebates that various exhibitors are offering at the show, so check out what's going on with the vendors that you are most interested in. Another thing that you'll want to check in the Show Special section is Free Gifts. You won't just find giveaways like pens and such, there are also a lot of listings for free gift with purchase offers. (If you're shopping, it won't hurt to get someting free.) For example, A&A Optical Company is giving away Quicksilver watches with a minimum purchase, so is Daisy Fuentes eyewear. Be sure to check those out!
If your in the market for a new insurance claim filing solution, be sure to head to the VisionWeb Booth #MS7053 because we're giving attendings $0 enrollment and 2 months free! (See, deals are everywhere!)
Fashionistas and Shoppers in Vegas
It's impossible for us to write a post about Fashion and Shopping in Vegas without providing a few of our own tips for life outside the show. Here are a few of our favorite spots for shopping, bring your credit card and let's do this!
Forum Shops - Caesar's Palace
It should be against the rules to go to Vegas and NOT make at least one lap through the Forum Shops. There are a ton of great high-end stores like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Valentino, and Versace - we encourage you to go crazy in these if you were a big winner at blackjack the night before - or just window shop. In addition to the high-end stores, there is also a huge variety of affordable stores for your regular shopping. On top of all that, there's an animatronics show featuring Zeus and lightening and all the theatrics that only Vegas could produce in the middle of a mall. We highly suggest checking it out!
H&M - Three Locations
Thought you had to wait until Vision Expo East to hit up an H&M? Nope! There are three, count 'em THREE, locations of this uber-popular store. (Okay, when we were writing this, we thought there were only 2, but we just learned about the newest one in the Forum Shops!) We LOVE H&M and since we're in Texas, we don't have access to one. You can't shop online at H&M, so make sure you pay a visit to the store while you're in Vegas!
Okay, we already mentioned some of the luxury brands available at the Forum Shops, but there are lot's more. The Fashion Show Mall is home to a great Neiman Marcus store, and we don't have to tell you just how luxury that is. It's located on the strip near TI, you can't miss it. The sister properties Wynn and Encore are also host to major luxury brands like Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Cartier, Oscar de la Renta, and Hermes - so if you're in the market for a Birkin, we suggest you make it over to these properties. (And then head by our booth to show us!!)
The most important thing to note is that a good fashionista/shopper is always looking for more information! Did we miss any of your favorite shopping destinations in Vegas? Do you have something to suggest? Don't keep it to yourself, tell us! Where should we shop in Vegas?