Tuesday 11 June 2013

Stores charging shoppers a 'showrooming' fee

Reports of stores charging* shoppers up to $25 to TRY ON clothes in a backlash against the time-wasting trend for 'showrooming', raises some issues that might respond to some creative thinking tools:

Suppose a NAM ran the store?
This creative leap hopefully removes all the prejudice relating to 'how we have always done it' and takes a fresh view, hopefully from outside the business. A NAM in charge would switch the emphasis from selling the goods to helping people buy..., taking into account the existence of competition from a shopper's perspective.

Given that most shoppers already think that online provides a cheaper alternative, a NAM would see the danger of simply adding to the cost of reality shopping, making the price difference even greater. Instead, the NAM-retailer would perhaps explore options re absorbing the additional cost of 'try-ons' by linking the purchase to the shop's online facility, and failing that, a payment from the supplier.  If the same product were  available via alternative online retailers, then an introduction-fee arrangement could be agreed, perhaps in return for reciprocal direction of online shoppers to the showrooming facility, thereby converting a 'dithering shopper' into a sale, to the benefit of all..?

With the NAM's experience of the upfront effort and advantages of a long term relationship with the customer vs. a transactional sale, the potential lifetime value of the shopper would be automatically factored into the instore-encounter, at operating level, one-to-one, and not left at mission-statement level....

Showroom owners are right in counting the additional costs and potential wastage of a 'try-on' customer, but they miss a trick in not seeing the total value of having a real person appear in the aisle, already in the market for a purchase, ideally with the wherewithall (money) and highly susceptible to the personal conversion-skills an online provider can only dream about..

A NAM would not have to be told twice... 
[ For NAMs that need reminding, we are always available to help :) ]
* Press article here

1 comment:

malcolm wicks said...

I think that a NAM would not charge a try on fee for clothes because that would be negative.

I'm sure that they would charge for something that the customer regarded as of value. My answer would be a consultation fee to get honest advise not just which option is best but also what goes with it and where to get it. The whole experience becomes more interesting and more valuable for retailer and customer.