As more and more online retail stores are taking over the Internet, brick and mortar stores are turning into “showrooms.” In other words, a consumer is more likely to come into a store, window shop through products, and go home to buy the same product online for a cheaper cost. The brick and mortar store ultimately becomes a ‘showroom’ for online retailers.
Showrooming is based upon two premises- online product is cheaper and lower prices alone are the only reason people buy. In order to get your foot in the door to prevent your practice from entirely turning into a showroom, we’ve pulled tips for ECPs from the Optical Vision Site’s blog to show you how you can fight showrooming.
Don’t Overprice Your Product
The consumer can spot a crazy mark-up, and you do not want them telling all of their friends how over-priced you are. A good rule of thumb is to price your products appropriately at keystone or a little above keystone. And if you would like to make more sales, try focusing on second pair sales, add-ons, and accessories.
Carry a Good Variety
Evaluate what products are heavily discounted online. Are they the exact same as your products? What’s different about the online product and your in-store product? Many times similar items are available online for a significantly lower price, but it is hard to tell whether this item holds the same, or better quality of the one in-store. And while you may carry that product, carrying a variety of colors can encourage in-store buyers. You should also consider private labels that other places do not carry.
Merchandise! Merchandise! Merchandise!
E-commerce may be ahead of the game when it comes to assessing consumer buying behavior and increasing sales, but one concept it will continue to lack is retail merchandising. Merchandising cannot be duplicated via an iPhone. Set up a merchandising calendar, hire a merchandiser to do your windows and displays, and entice those patients!
Provide High Quality Customer Service
At the end of the day, your practice is to society what the customers say about it. From the moment a customer enters into your practice till the point they walk out, you should be assessing their needs and going beyond just helping them find a product. Building a personal connection makes an impact on every consumer. The more interaction you have with your customer, the more likely he or she is to come back to your eye care practice. Cheap but practical giveaways also go a long way!
Send Texts/E-Mail Notifications
It’s important to keep customer interaction going through texting or emailing customers coupons, discounts, and products that are relevant to their purchase history.
Your employees should know beyond online retailing. They should know the different types of customers of your practice, what entices them, what causes them to buy a product, etc. Send your employers to trade-shows or have an in-office training program.
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This blog was originally posted March 2014 and revised September 2022.