The new trend of shoppers price checking merchandise in stores only to later buy them on competitors’ websites is a bottom-line buster for discount giants. The Wall Street Journal reports that half of shoppers who buy products online had previously scoped the items at a traditional store.
Of course, consumers won’t be hearing any complaints from retailers, such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), that only sell their wares online.
In an effort to increase customer loyalty and thwart showrooming, many brick-and-mortar discount giants are making some online and in-store deals of their own.
Target offers a few exclusive products that can only be purchased in its stores. It also offers items that customers will only find at Target.com. Additionally, a new smartphone app allows Target shoppers to create shopping lists and receive exclusive coupons and deal alerts.
Wal-Mart hopes that its strategy to team its online and traditional stores will bolster revenue. The discount king places emphasis on free in-store pickups for online orders. According to the WSJ, Walmart also instituted the “endless aisle” strategy where its associates refer shoppers to Walmart.com when a desired item cannot be located in the store. To ward against its workers viewing Walmart.com as a competitor, the company has set up a system that allows store workers to receive bonuses for successfully employing the strategy.
Another big-box store hit hard by showrooming is struggling electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE:BBY). The company is banking on new leadership to help it survive this new trend — as well as other hefty challenges.