We all do it, in varying degrees, and while it can offer the best value for the shopper, it also presents a serious problem for retailers of any size, who will inevitably find revenues decreasing.
The only way to combat the showrooming effect is through convenience and a customer experience that is seamless across all channels. Luckily, as well as presenting a problem, showrooming also provides an opportunity. Skilled marketers, aided by Omnichannel systems can help to integrate the channels which fragment customers, one which provides both excellent value, and a streamlined and memorable user experience.
Customers could be browsing your online store, place an order, but in a single click arrange for collection from a local branch or store. This gives the convenience and free information of online shopping, but also the availability and face-to-face service of the in-store experience. In the past, Redbox have engineered click and collect systems so efficient that the time between click and collection can be as little as five minutes.
Likewise, a customer in store could be examining a product when a nearby iBeacon sends additional information or special offers directly to the customers smartphone, thereby offering the proliferation of information available online, as well as the tactile in-store experience.
Showrooming can even be turned to the retailer's advantage. Example products could be available in-store, which are then available for purchase from the retailer's online store. This method would be particularly effective for luxury or large purchases.
Omnichannel strategies such as these are the future of retail, and whilst they may seem radical to the traditional retailer, they offer that which is most important: What the customer wants.