Smartphone users are the kings and queens of comparison shopping. If you’ve witnessed a shopper checking a supplement’s price with e-commerce giant Amazon.com, you know what I mean.
Some of your customers also may be using your store as a “showroom” for what they’ll eventually buy online. Why do they do this and how can you disrupt the process? The answers are revealed in a recent study titled Showrooming and Consumer Migration [PDF] from Boston-based social media analyst Crimson Hexagon.
The first tip is to know what these consumers are typing into their smartphones—and into social media. According to the report, “In a competitive environment where retailers vie over content and keywords—where disappointed consumers find solace in typing six letters into their smartphone’s web browser: A-M-A-Z-O-N—deep knowledge of consumer expectations is a retailer’s most powerful weapon against showrooming.”
The company analyzed 1.5 million social media posts about the Best Buy and Amazon brands throughout 2011 to find out what consumers expect from in-store shopping—and why they may pass over Best Buy for Amazon.
Here’s how some of the key findings apply to your store:
Migration to Amazon from brick-and-mortar stores such as Best Buy is highest during the holidays, especially in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. Store deals are most anticipated from mid-November to early December, so surprise—and delight—your shoppers by holding promotions year-round.
Instant gratification appeals to shoppers and is a big reason why they’ll buy in your store instead of online. Make sure you are stocked. If products aren’t available, 10 percent of consumers will turn to Amazon.
Customer service represents only a minor shopping incentive at Best Buy, despite the availability of sales reps. Are you putting too much stock in customer service and perhaps not enough in shoppers’ other needs?
- Twenty-seven percent of customers are simply deal seekers who highly value Amazon’s lower prices. Translation: Don’t beat yourself up every time you lose a sale to a smartphone.