How to build relationships with retail showroomers

In Loyalty & CRM by Oliver Arscott

Aimia, showrooming, millennials, in-store, App

Are you struggling to engage the digital customer? Is your business concerned by the showrooming trend? Aimia have put together a compelling report into how to engage and profit from the showrooming generation.

We’re giving you the opportunity to meet and learn from loyalty experts for free. Register here for your complimentary pass to the Loyalty World exhibition and on-floor seminars and benefit from industry leading insights.

Smart phone penetration is steadily increasing, introducing new behaviours and challenges to the retail industry. This includes retail showrooming, the process by which consumers browse for items in-store before using their smartphones to find a lower price on line.

This behaviour presents a major challenge to retailers. Should they embrace showroomers, ignore them or make an attempt to stamp out the practice all together?

Aimia's Millennial loyalty survey compared Millennials and non-Millennial consumers and their attitudes towards brand loyalty, data privacy, social media marketing and rewards programme participation. The results from this research brought to life some interesting points on showrooming, and formed the basis of Aimia's latest whitepaper – ‘Through the Looking Glass: Building Relationships with Retail Showroomers'.

Our research provided us with a picture of the typical showroomer as someone who is: male, typically owning at least two digital devices and highly active in social media, someone who is excited by mobile commerce applications and is an active participant in loyalty and reward programmes. Far from being retail's worst nightmare, showroomers may in fact be retailers' best customers.

Showroomers and Loyalty

We found that showroomers are more likely to participate in loyalty programmes and crucially, are more willing to trade personal details for rewards and are more interested in mobile commerce. As such, Aimia suggests that the solution to showrooming lies in a multi-channel approach to retail that leverages shopper data to extract consumer insight, and delivers recognition and reward to drive in-store purchases. Through loyalty management, retailers can use hard benefits to drive in-store purchases, and link soft benefits to upper-tier consumers overall.

A Potential Solution

Retailers should embrace, rather than fight, showrooming. It is clear that retail customers want to use their mobile devices in-store, so retailers should claim a piece of that valuable real estate with a showrooming app that combines price transparency with product reviews and social media connections. In fact, retailers should help their customers find the lowest price, even if it isn't theirs. The catch? The app is available only to loyalty programme members.

Key facts

– Showroomers are 7% more likely to participate in a retail reward programme than a non-showroomer.

– They are 67% more likely to participate in a travel rewards programme.

– They are 57% more likely to use Facebook "often" or "very often".

And Finally

This paper also takes a look at how retail space will be affected by digital advances. Aimia believes that the store of the future will fully embrace the digital revolution, and will look ‘more like an Apple store than a Best Buy' (see our infographic on page 11 of the white paper for our thoughts on what the store of the future will look like).

These changes to retail space are a hot topic amongst retailers in the UK. Christopher Bailey, Managing Director of Burberry recently stated that his intention in creating the digital environment of Burberry's flagship store on Regent Street was to ‘turn the store into a theatre for customers', and in many ways he has succeeded in doing so. Interactive signage guides customers around the store, assistants carry iPads containing information about customers' preferences and past purchases and some items of clothing holds chips which interact with store mirrors to generate video content: combining to provide a unique retail experience for shoppers.

Aimia are a key sponsor of this year's Loyalty World. To benefit from the insights of Jan-Pieter Lips, Managing Director, Nectar, register here for your complimentary pass to the Loyalty World exhibition and on-floor seminars.