Showrooming is a bit of a new trend. Your customers, even in small towns, are standing in your store and using their smartphone to compare your price with online retailers. If the product is cheaper at the online store, they order it immediately, and you just lost a sale.
For small town retailers, this can be devastating because our costs can be higher and volume lower. In short, it’s hard to compete on price alone. Especially when our business pays for the store, provides jobs for the retail clerks, gives customers the education and information, and everything else that goes into being the show room. And then the online retailer doesn’t collect sales tax, giving them an additional price advantage (and hurting your municipal government.)
What can small town stores do about this?
My friend and fellow retailer Daniel Gordon had a reason to think about it this weekend, and our mutual friend Chad Henderson jumped in with good advice:
Chad is on the right track: customers need reasons, and they need to connect with you. I added a few more ideas:
Offer them something special not available anywhere else.
Show them exclusive items, especially local items.
Talk about the local causes your business supports.
Be a real person.
I finished by saying, “if all else fails show ’em pictures of your cute kids! How could anyone resist??” I wasn’t really kidding. The more you can connect with customers as human beings, the more likely they are to stick with you for the sale.
|Special gift wrapping like this is just one way to
Photo courtesy of Daniel Gordon.
- RuralOmniLocal: Why local businesses resist selling online - November 29, 2016
- Resources for Service Businesses - November 28, 2016
- RuralOmniLocal: Selling virtual products in a bricks-and-mortar store - November 21, 2016
- RuralOmniLocal: How a local business can sell online - November 14, 2016
- RuralOmniLocal: the advantage for small town retailers - November 7, 2016
- 3 actions to start a local business - October 24, 2016
- What restaurant franchises and chains work in small towns? - October 17, 2016
- Your customers want you to change the world - October 10, 2016
- Making evening hours profitable for small town retail stores - September 26, 2016
- Getting past the quote stage - September 19, 2016