Retailers who try to combat the consumer trend of using traditional retail outlets as a showroom.

By Manoj Raheja

“A study from Paris-based consulting firm Capgemini found that more than half of shoppers globally think physical stores will become merely showrooms by 2020.  Consumers are using online shopping, mobile phones, and apps to compare prices, and therefore changing the role of traditional retail.”

So is it a trend or is it a fad?  Should our business react or sit back and wait?  For some people this may seem like an easy decision – we must react!  But just ask Kodak and Blockbuster how tough it can be to see clearly when you’re in the eye of the storm.

At SW+A – our team takes a slightly different approach on how we report on trends.  We came up with 5 Macro Trends that are deemed UNSTOPPABLE, EMPIRICAL, and ACTIONABLE (Pretty bold huh?).  One example is Consumer 2.0:

  • Millennials and Boomers becoming the most important demographic groups
  • Immigration changing the face of the Canadian consumer
  • More people moving into Urban centers
  • …and of course the evolution of technology

You’ll notice that you can’t argue with any of that.  It’s Unstoppable and Empirical.  When you combine Consumer 2.0 with another Macro Trend – “New Value Mindset” – the byproduct becomes the trend of showrooming.  Bargain shoppers or Smart shoppers leveraging technology to get the best deal.

As you can see – the Macro Trends are not rocket science.  That’s why they are Unstoppable and Empirical… (We know most of them!), but there is magic in acknowledging them and developing an Action plan!  Here are a few examples of retailers taking action against showrooming:

  • Nordstrom (U.S.) signed a deal with Topshop (UK) to carry exclusive products you can’t buy elsewhere
  • Target and Neiman Marcus will be introducing a limited edition collection for the holidays
  • Best Buy is planning to build Apple-like stores with better customer experience
  • Macy’s is using mobile marketing to provide consumers better deals when they walk through the door

So how will it end for Retailers trying to combat showrooming?  Who knows!  But good for them for acknowledging tough realities and building action plans…and that’s what makes their story cool…

If you’re interested in learning more about the Unstoppable Trends and how to take action against it – we’d be happy to help!