Who Doesn’t Have to Worry About Showrooming? Showrooms.

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    Marketing Insights

  • Date:

    September 27, 2015

Who Doesn’t Have to Worry About Showrooming? Showrooms.

Marketing Insights

Anyone with a retail presence knows about showrooming. That 21st century phenomenon when a customer visits a physical showroom, interacts with a paid salesperson and, instead of purchasing in-store, goes online and purchases the same product for a cheaper price. Sometimes these customers showroom on a mobile device right there in the actual store. 

While showrooming is a serious margin threat to many national chain retailers, one category of retailer that shouldn’t worry too much about showrooming are showrooms.

In fact, home-related product showrooms are uniquely positioned to benefit from showrooming.

These retail establishments give homeowners a chance to peruse, touch and select from different products for their home, whether decorative, like tile and floor coverings, or installation products, like lighting or plumbing fixtures.

What’s the difference?

  • Showroom customers seek the store out, looking for specific functional and tactile products, with the aim of making a purchase.
  • Showrooms cater to a specific audience at a specific point on their purchase journey. No one wanders into a tile showroom just to kill some time. Showroom patrons are homeowners who are either in the consideration or selection stage of a purchase journey, specifically looking for exactly what that store offers.
  • The products are visual and tactile. Showroom products are, by their nature, quite tactile in their appeal. A faucet, carpet, tile or wall sconce is purchased on look and feel of their materials and function.
  • Customers come – or are sent – with a purpose. Showroom customers are often sent to a specific location by a trusted friend or contractor with the explicit purpose of looking for a particular product.

Why and how showrooms should use Internet search to gain more customers

The typical national-chain retailer has lots of reasons to flinch when they think of Google, but for showrooms, it’s just not the case. The numbers explain why:

  • One-third of all local searches are looking for a retailer, primarily for specific information such as hours of operation and location, and secondarily to find a retailer that carries the product they’re looking to find.
  • Nearly 80 percent of local searches on mobile devices turned into purchases, with nearly 90 percent of those purchases taking place in a physical store.
  • In-store purchases are driven by several important factors:
    • Knowledgeable sales associate (54 percent)
    • Ability to touch and feel a product before buying it (46 percent)
    • Immediate delivery or installation (60 percent)

To take advantage of these customer preferences, local home product showrooms should recognize the importance of search and ensure they’re making it easy for shoppers to find and do business with them. Make sure your online presence includes the following:

  • Mobile-friendly
  • Location and hours of operation
  • Clearly list brands
  • High-quality, in-store photography
  • Services you provide
  • Search optimized
  • Demonstrate category expertise and experience
  • Customer reviews of your store 

In an era when major retailer brands are struggling to survive the showrooming phenomenon, it seems only fair that actual showrooms are the ones who are thriving – or should be.


Sources: Forbes, AdWeek, Multichannel Merchant, comScore, Neustar Localeze, 15 miles, Business News Daily