Thursday, November 1, 2012


John Marine | 11/01/2012 09:50:00 PM |
Showrooming is a practice that helps online shopping, but hurts the physical store. It is basically where someone goes to a brick-and-mortar store selling a certain item, and the consumer eventually buys online from an online dealer, thus hurting the brick-and-mortar store. Today's world is mostly all about cyberspace and mobile technology. At the same time, however, it is also about finding the best deals. Items sell for cheaper online in most cases. This blog post is my own discussion regarding showrooming. I will explain what showrooming is, and you are welcome to offer your own thoughts on this practice.

--- Showrooming ---

^ from: - Showrooming = see an item at a brick-and-mortar store, buy from an online retailer instead. This practice hurts physical stores.

Going to a physical store gives you the opportunity to touch and use certain items before thinking about buying. Anyone who has ever been to a clothes store, a car dealer, a furniture store, or any such business knows that going to such places allow you to see and touch certain items. You may even be able to test certain items. All of these things help you in your shopping choices. This ability to see and touch items are all in an effort to make your shopping more complete. As you visit these stores and sections of stores, they are basically the showrooms to what you are looking for.

So what is the issue with showrooming? One of the real retailers suffering from showrooming is the electronics giant, Best Buy. There would be people who would visit a Best Buy store for certain electronics that they see in the store. And rather than buy from that brick-and-mortar Best Buy store, some would by from an online dealer instead. In other words, a brick-and-mortar store became a showroom to a consumer as money is paid over to a store other than the main store a consumer walked into. Economics was a topic I struggled with in High School and college, but even I can imagine what the impacts are when paying one store as opposed to another. Think about it for a moment- you are in a store and see something you want, but you eventually send over your money to another retailer while at one retailer. The other retailer (usually an online retailer) benefits while the brick-and-mortar store doesn't get the money for the same item you're shopping for.

This is why showrooming is a discouraged practice as far as brick-and-mortar stores are concerned.

The Impacts of Showrooming.

A physical store doesn't benefit from the practice of showrooming. That is why not as many physical retailers are out there anymore. People who are involved in showrooming basically use a brick-and-mortar store to touch and feel certain items before eventually purchasing online. In the case of a brick-and-mortar store, one would say that a consumer visits a store to do their shopping. So if you go to a physical store as opposed to shop online, you should at least benefit the brick-and-mortar store by buying whatever is sold at that physical store instead of buying from an online dealer. The fact that a brick-and-mortar store doesn't get your hard-earned money is the real reason why so many physical stores discourage showrooming. In other words...

If you could find a better deal online for a certain item, why go to a brick-and-mortar store offering the same item? One should at least benefit the physical store by buying the item at the specific store rather than buy online, and especially avoiding being at a specific physical store while buying an item from an online dealer.

Can Showrooming be Embraced?

Showrooming isn't entirely a bad practice. You usually hear of stores announcing something like price comparisons. You know- stores that refund you the difference in price if you find a better advertised deal from another store. In practice, price comparisons should even pertain to online dealers in addition to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Online dealers usually offer items for less since they don't have to pay for shipping and storing like brick-and-mortar stores. I am honestly unsure as to how brick-and-mortar stores can really contend or counter against showrooming. If anything, maybe embrace showrooming while also finding ways to help consumers get the best deals. The end goal is to please and satisfy consumers.

I tried my best to discuss showrooming. What do you make of this practice? Thank you for reading this piece here on John's Blog Space!

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