Friday, March 29, 2013

Retailer tries to combat 'showrooming' with a $5 charge for 'lookie loos'

The ultimate method of combating "showrooming," which is when consumers visit brick-and-mortar stores to get look at products before ultimately placing an order online is being enacted by an Australian retail store. Celiac Supplies' decision to charge $5 to "lookie loos," although issued earlier, went viral as of Wednesday.

The store posted the following in its window (sign shown above, text below):
As of the first of February, this store will be charging people a $5 fee per person for “just looking.”

The $5 fee will be deducted when goods are purchased.

Why has this come about?

There has been high volume of people who use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere. These people are unaware our prices are almost the same as the other stores plus we have products simply not available anywhere else.

This policy is line with many other clothing, shoe and electronic stores who are also facing the same issue.
Not only do retailers such as Amazon.com encourage showrooming, they make it easy. Amazon.com has Price Check apps for both Android and iOS.

According to the Brisbane Times, four people have anted up the $5. It's unclear what actions a customer must do to trigger the fee. Of the new policy Daily Finance’s Matt Brownell said,
[This is] the most misguided strategy we’ve seen for dealing with showrooming ... The goal of any retailer should be to impress customers with competitive pricing and great customer service -- not treat their customers with suspicion and hostility from the moment they walk in the door.
Other retailers are combating showrooming in a different way. Best Buy and Target have extended their price-match practices year-round. Target and Best Buy, like many other brick-and-mortar retailers, previously had a practice of price-matching Amazon.com and other online giants for the holidays, but both have now extended the policy to 365-days-a-year.



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