You’ve probably seen this scene play out more than a few times in your storefront: a customer walks in and starts browsing your selection. Maybe they interact with the sales team and ask to try on a ring or necklace – but they are glued to their smartphone almost the whole time. In the end, they leave without making a purchase. You may have just witnessed “showrooming” in action.
A form of comparison shopping, showrooming is when a customer visits a brick-and-mortar store to inspect products first-hand, only to try and get a better deal by purchasing online. It’s a challenge faced by many small business. But luckily, jewelers have some inherent strengths over their online competition.
Some specialty fashion stores in the US and Australia have introduced a “fitting fee” for browsing, which is refunded in full if the customer makes a purchase. However, charging a cover fee to enter the store doesn’t fit with all business models, or the image you want to project to shoppers. Instead, think about what you can give customers that they can’t get online.
Emphasize benefits such as free/discounted cleaning or resizing for purchases, and the expertise available only at your store. Consider adding other sales incentives such as price-match guarantees, simplified return policies, or additional services. You can also try to curate your inventory to include more unique items that can’t be easily found online. By going that extra mile, you can convince a showrooming shopper that best deal is coming from you.