Just about every business in the retail sector is familiar with the practice of showrooming among their customers. This occurs when consumers visit a brick-and-mortar store to research a product or to get a hands-on feel for it but ultimately end up buying the product online at a competitor’s website. Ever since the advent of the Internet, showrooming has been a major problem for retailers and has attributed to major financial losses for traditional stores.
This is where digital signage enters the fray and can be of benefit. It increases the in-store shopping experience, which in turn increases the likelihood of items purchased on the spot.
Showrooming Statistics at a Glance
Showrooming is made even easier nowadays now that smartphones and tablets are readily available. In fact, two-thirds of mobile phone users in the U.S. indicated that they use their device to compare prices and research product specs. 38% also indicated that they use their device while in the store.
Here’s the most important statistic regarding showrooming: About one in 10 shoppers indicated that they always perform a price comparison check on their phone right before purchasing a product at a brick-and-mortar store. It goes without saying that customers would make the purchase elsewhere if they find a lower price for the same product at another store.
How Digital Signage can Reduce Missed Sales Opportunities
Most retailers know that a positive shopping experience is the key to converting a browsing shopper into an actual buyer. The following are three ways to increase customer satisfaction using digital signage and kiosk systems.
1. Reduce Checkout Time
Waiting at the checkout line is the most unsatisfying part of shopping for most customers. People by nature are inpatient and dislike having to wait for anything. This is why most stores open another checkout lane whenever an existing lane has three or more people in line.
This is where self-checkout lanes become extremely efficient. More stores are beginning to incorporate them and allow customers to perform their own transaction. Also, the fact that this is done through an interactive kiosk means one less need for a live sales clerk, which saves the company money.
2. Provides a Self-Service Information Center
Often, shoppers will need to flag down an employee for an enquiry. Customers can quickly become frustrated when there is a lack of employee availability and they have to scan every aisle for someone in a store uniform.
An interactive signage can serve as an automated system that answers frequently asked questions. It can also be used to answer specific questions regarding a particular product, or identify the aisle where a product can be found. Furthermore, signage systems can also serve a secondary function by showing ads when it is not in use.
3. Check Availability of Products
When a product is currently unavailable, then customers will likely check their phones to see if it is in stock online or at a competing store. If a product has sold out, a digital display can inform customers whether there are more in the inventory room. If so, the system can send an alert in the back room notifying employees that the item needs restocking. If there’s no more, then the display can direct the customer to its online store or list other store locations where the merchandise is still available. Such systems can also allow shoppers to issue a rain check so that one is reserved for them as soon as the item becomes available.
The showrooming effect has hurt many retailers. However, digital signage provides a way to nullify most of the effects by increasing shopper experience. When customers are satisfied, they will more likely make an on-the-spot purchase instead of pulling out their smartphone for a price comparison check.
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