News

Showrooming: How to Compete and Win in the New World

BY CSA STAFF

By Jeff Weidauer, [email protected]

Showrooming is the latest in what appears to be a never-ending series of paradigm shifts for retailers. This is the relatively new activity where shoppers visit a brick-and-mortar store, look at a product, and buy it online. Best Buy is possibly the hardest-hit; it’s been slapped with the unfortunate moniker “Amazon Showroom,” which describes just how widespread this phenomenon has become.

Product price is the obvious problem — the price difference between Amazon and a big box store hovers in the range of 10%. Most states don’t charge sales taxes for online sales (yet), but even where taxes are collected there is a significant difference in price paid. Add free shipping into the mix, and the customer shift from buying locally to “just looking” locally seems like a logical response.

Target’s recent decision to discontinue carrying Amazon’s Kindle e-reader is widely believed to have been in response to showrooming. Target is also working with some of its suppliers in an attempt to create “unique” UPCs designed to thwart easy comparison by phone-wielding shoppers.

To be clear, most of the problems brick-and-mortar stores are facing today are self-created. Thirty years of focusing on little other than price, and the accompanying required reductions in labor and inventory, created fertile ground for online stores to take root. That overarching focus on price has also created a consumer with a taste for little else, partly because there’s nothing to compare it with.

The fact is that we’ve all become accustomed to poor service — or no service — in the pursuit of low price. We’re used to doing our own research, and now we make decisions based on what a majority of strangers tell us via ratings online rather than a salesperson. When visiting a store, it’s to see the product close-up rather than to get advice from the person selling it. For someone who’s done even the minimal pre-shop research, it’s likely that they know more about the product in question than a store employee.

Brick-and-mortar retailers have another significant disadvantage when competing with online sellers: information. Internet merchants know a lot about every customer that’s ever made a purchase on their site, and even quite a bit for those just browsing. While loyalty cards have been around for a quarter-century, it’s only been in the last 10 years or so that the information they gather has been put to good use. Most are just gathering vast quantities of information with no tangible benefit to the retailer or the shopper.

There’s a line from the hit television show “Mad Men” that applies here: “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” Simply put, this means it’s up to the retailer to take steps to change things by effectively combating the surge of online sales with a proactive and aggressive approach. Passive tactics aimed at undermining shopper habits by creating more hurdles (like unique UPCs) may work in the short run, but aren’t a long-term solution.

Competing in this new world will require a clear strategy, and the best way to begin creating a strategy is to define the problem honestly and without emotion. It doesn’t matter what used to work — let it go. A price-focused approach is what created the current problem, so let that go as well. Determine the strengths of the store, from the shopper perspective. This is the hardest part: leaving all that internal baggage at the door and looking at the company as the shopper sees it in the cold, harsh light of day.

Once that’s done — and regardless of what the outcome of that initial analysis might be — three things will have to change:

1. Find a point of difference. This is what the company brings to market, and is its raison d’être. It might be based on the company’s original charter, or it may be something completely new. But it has to be something big enough to build an identity on. And it can’t be price.

2. Hire knowledgeable employees. Or hire solid performers and train them. Either way, raise the bar and stop competing with the local fast food joint for “talent.” This will require a price increase because good people cost more.

3. Learn about—and focus on—only the best customers. Use tactics like mobile devices, databases and analytics to target shoppers based on behavior and buying history.

These are major changes for any retailer. They will take time, commitment and a clear vision of the goal, not to mention investment. They are also absolutely necessary for any retailer planning to remain viable for the long term.

“Compete,” after all, is a verb.

Jeff Weidauer is VP marketing and strategy for Vestcom International Inc., a Little Rock, Ark.-based provider of integrated shopper marketing solutions. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit Vestcom.com.


More Web Exclusives/Guest Commentaries

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
News

Dick’s, Drew Brees take concussion education head on

BY CSA STAFF

PITTSBURGH — The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation, quarterback Drew Brees and imPACT for PACE (Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education) have joined forces to help educate athletes at all levels of the dangers of concussions.

Parents, coaches and school officials can visit www.DicksSportingGoods.com/PACE to sign up eligible middle, high school and youth athletic organizations to receive free ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) testing software licenses, which provide baseline tests for up to 300 young athletes free of charge for one year ($500 value).

Utilized by more than three million athletes at thousands of middle and high schools, collegiate and professional sports teams, ImPACT is the first, most-widely used, scientifically-validated computerized neurocognitive evaluation system available. ImPACT begins with a 20-minute baseline test that is administered pre-season. If a concussion is suspected later, another post-injury test is administered by trained clinicians to assess the possible after-effects. The program evaluates multiple aspects of brain function including memory, processing speed, reaction time and post-concussive symptoms, assisting doctors in making return-to-play decisions and potentially reducing the possibility of long-term neurological effects.

"The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation has a unique opportunity through PACE to empower parents, coaches and young athletes with the right tools to make sure they’re informed and taking the necessary precautions to manage concussions," said Edward Stack, Chairman and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods. "Together with Drew Brees and our partners at ImPACT, our goal is to provide awareness and information so that every athlete, every team and every school can be smart about concussions."

Record-breaking pro football star Drew Brees, who suffered a concussion in 2005, will serve as the national spokesperson for PACE in 2012, participating in various marketing initiatives to support the program including online video, public relations, and social media engagement.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
News

Easton Town Center expansion, Columbus, Ohio

BY CSA STAFF

A trailblazing town center is getting more space and a cosmetic update.

Easton Town Center (Columbus, Ohio) co-developers Steiner + Associates and The Georgetown Co. have announced that they will be adding more than 50,000 sq. ft. of new tenants this year and renovating more than 150,000 sq. ft. of existing space.

“Great projects evolve on purpose,” said Yaromir Steiner, CEO, Steiner. “Our vision for Easton has been, and continues to be, to challenge ourselves to make it better every day.”

The expansion brings in designers Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors; high-end retailers Tommy Bahama, Ann Taylor and Sephora; and introduces Columbus-based t-shirt store Homage to Easton Town Center shoppers. Wine bar and restaurant Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Brazilian steakhouse Texas de Brazil join Easton’s current restaurant roster of more than 30 eateries and 125 retailers, which drive more than 22 million visitors annually.

“We are thrilled to be bringing these great additions to Easton,” said Adam Flatto, president, Georgetown. “Our guests have come to expect best-in-class retailer and dining and outstanding experiences upon every visit. These enhancements further amplify Easton’s position as central Ohio’s premier mixed-use destination.”

Additionally, Easton and its tenants are investing more than $20 million in renovations this year. This 150,000-sq.-ft. project includes updates to Brio Tuscan Grille, AMC Easton Town Center 30, Express, and the Victoria’s Secret flagship store.

Finally, meeting the parking needs for this growth and expansion is a new $24 million, 1,050 space parking deck. The structure will be completed by early 2013.


Past Project Profiles

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

K.John says:
May-05-2013 08:24 pm

Great tips
So many great tips that you offer to help so much here. The heat can really hurt your pets so much. Keep them safe. joyfulmammas.com/

K.John says:
May-05-2013 08:24 pm

So many great tips that you offer to help so much here. The heat can really hurt your pets so much. Keep them safe. joyfulmammas.com/

duyentran607 says:
Apr-19-2013 08:09 pm

100 garcinia
We are thrilled to be bringing these great additions to Easton,” said Adam Flatto, president, Georgetown. “Our guests have come to expect best-in-class retailer and dining and outstanding experiences upon every visit. 100 garcinia

D.Jee says:
Apr-17-2013 07:40 pm

Take up one idea. Make that
Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.mackeeperscam

D.Jee says:
Apr-17-2013 07:40 pm

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.mackeeperscam

J.Walker says:
Apr-14-2013 11:56 am

Additionally, Easton and its
Additionally, Easton and its tenants are investing more than $20 million in renovations this year. This 150,000-sq.-ft. project includes updates to Brio Tuscan Grille, AMC Easton Town Center 30, Express, and the Victoria’s Secret flagship store. superior paper

S.Khan says:
Apr-14-2013 10:56 am

If you have got yet another
If you have got yet another essay that you need to write, then you know that along with the heavy course load, it can seem like almost too much work in a very short period of time. http://www.bestcustomwriting.com/essay-writing-service

J.Walker says:
Apr-14-2013 11:56 am

Additionally, Easton and its tenants are investing more than $20 million in renovations this year. This 150,000-sq.-ft. project includes updates to Brio Tuscan Grille, AMC Easton Town Center 30, Express, and the Victoria’s Secret flagship store. superior paper

S.Khan says:
Apr-14-2013 10:56 am

If you have got yet another essay that you need to write, then you know that along with the heavy course load, it can seem like almost too much work in a very short period of time. http://www.bestcustomwriting.com/essay-writing-service

N.Khalid says:
Apr-12-2013 12:39 pm

afashion-dresses.com
I would like to say thank for sharing this great article. We can’t get this kind of information from afashion-dresses.com

N.Khalid says:
Apr-12-2013 12:39 pm

I would like to say thank for sharing this great article. We can’t get this kind of information from afashion-dresses.com

duyentran607 says:
Apr-10-2013 02:18 pm

green beans coffee
The expansion brings in designers Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors; high-end retailers Tommy Bahama, green beans coffee

J.Jaak says:
Apr-04-2013 12:32 pm

You have done an excellent
You have done an excellent job in passing out the message through this blog, keep up the good work! Kyle

J.Jaak says:
Apr-04-2013 12:32 pm

You have done an excellent job in passing out the message through this blog, keep up the good work! Kyle

A.John says:
Apr-02-2013 05:18 am

Hi, i have visited this site
Hi, i have visited this site a few times now and i have to say that i find it quite exeptional actually. it'll be nice to read more in the future. Interesting blog. Free Cell phone spy Text Messages Spy

A.John says:
Apr-02-2013 05:18 am

Hi, i have visited this site a few times now and i have to say that i find it quite exeptional actually. it'll be nice to read more in the future. Interesting blog. Free Cell phone spy Text Messages Spy

eavedrop44 says:
Mar-24-2013 12:00 pm

One thing you might not know
One thing you might not know is that when they are advertised, it may say something like temperature controlled. Ect. Company Incorporation

eavedrop44 says:
Mar-24-2013 12:00 pm

One thing you might not know is that when they are advertised, it may say something like temperature controlled. Ect. Company Incorporation

eavedrop44 says:
Mar-18-2013 06:27 am

The first night I didn't
The first night I didn't really like it but now I really, really love it. I have had it for about a year. One thing you might not know is that when they are advertised, it may say something like temperature controlled. Ect. british ceramic tile

eavedrop44 says:
Mar-18-2013 06:27 am

The first night I didn't really like it but now I really, really love it. I have had it for about a year. One thing you might not know is that when they are advertised, it may say something like temperature controlled. Ect. british ceramic tile

R.Stunner says:
Mar-15-2013 12:03 pm

great initiative
This is a nice move! Easton Town Centre has got a less space for parking facility compared to other convention centers. Moreover, the expansion of existing outlets will attract more customers. It will be more fun, if you set up a coffee shop at the top floor.visit here

R.Stunner says:
Mar-15-2013 12:03 pm

This is a nice move! Easton Town Centre has got a less space for parking facility compared to other convention centers. Moreover, the expansion of existing outlets will attract more customers. It will be more fun, if you set up a coffee shop at the top floor.visit here

R.Ponting says:
Mar-13-2013 08:41 pm

Hi, i have visited this site
Hi, i have visited this site a few times now and i have to say that i find it quite exeptional actually. it'll be nice to read more in the future. Interesting blog.office cleaning service in Toronto

R.Ponting says:
Mar-13-2013 08:41 pm

Hi, i have visited this site a few times now and i have to say that i find it quite exeptional actually. it'll be nice to read more in the future. Interesting blog.office cleaning service in Toronto

B.Powell says:
Mar-06-2013 10:34 am

I was happy to see some thing
I was happy to see some thing puristic. Click Here

J.Jaak says:
Mar-06-2013 08:29 am

Congratulations Mr. Remo
Congratulations Mr. Remo Lütolf. You did a good job. I hope you will continue to have more success that you will continue to contribute to your company.serrurier libourne

B.Powell says:
Mar-06-2013 10:34 am

I was happy to see some thing puristic. Click Here

J.Jaak says:
Mar-06-2013 08:29 am

Congratulations Mr. Remo Lütolf. You did a good job. I hope you will continue to have more success that you will continue to contribute to your company.serrurier libourne

R.Ponting says:
Mar-03-2013 01:02 pm

That is exactly what I am
That is exactly what I am looking for!You have done a brilliant job. Your article is truly relevant to my study at this moment, and I am really happy to read it. medical tourism thailand

R.Ponting says:
Mar-03-2013 11:42 am

private proxies
All people deserve good life and business loans or small business loan can make it much better. Because freedom depends on money state. You are dreaming just about high academic grades? Therefore I state that the essay writing service would make dreams come true, composing the best custom research papers. Furthermore, you will be able to use free time for your own needs.private proxies

R.Ponting says:
Mar-03-2013 01:02 pm

That is exactly what I am looking for!You have done a brilliant job. Your article is truly relevant to my study at this moment, and I am really happy to read it. medical tourism thailand

R.Ponting says:
Mar-03-2013 11:42 am

All people deserve good life and business loans or small business loan can make it much better. Because freedom depends on money state. You are dreaming just about high academic grades? Therefore I state that the essay writing service would make dreams come true, composing the best custom research papers. Furthermore, you will be able to use free time for your own needs.private proxies

R.Ponting says:
Feb-03-2013 12:19 am

The post is absolutely
The post is absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need! Also like to Logo design admire the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer! I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. http://www.leafletsareus.co.uk/

R.Ponting says:
Feb-02-2013 11:59 pm

Network Marketing Software
I am preparing a research paper and collecting information on this topic. Your post is one of the better that I have read. Thank you for putting this information into one post.Network Marketing Software

R.Ponting says:
Feb-02-2013 11:27 pm

fotografo roma
Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!THANKS!!!!!! fotografo roma

R.Ponting says:
Feb-03-2013 12:19 am

The post is absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need! Also like to Logo design admire the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer! I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. http://www.leafletsareus.co.uk/

R.Ponting says:
Feb-02-2013 11:59 pm

I am preparing a research paper and collecting information on this topic. Your post is one of the better that I have read. Thank you for putting this information into one post.Network Marketing Software

R.Ponting says:
Feb-02-2013 11:27 pm

Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!THANKS!!!!!! fotografo roma

N.Spotcheckbilly says:
Jan-31-2013 06:41 pm

Hello,I love reading through
Hello,I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts perruques Perruques Femme Perucken

N.Spotcheckbilly says:
Jan-31-2013 06:41 pm

Hello,I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts perruques Perruques Femme Perucken

A.Wells says:
Jan-31-2013 01:11 am

space
Laser hair removal and nono are very similar does the nono work on mens facial hair. But nono is not sensitive to hair type.

A.Wells says:
Jan-31-2013 01:11 am

Laser hair removal and nono are very similar does the nono work on mens facial hair. But nono is not sensitive to hair type.

F.Roget says:
Jan-30-2013 05:13 am

We've examine your blog
We've examine your blog publish and i also were built with a useful as well as skilled information and facts through the blog page.it's a reputable very good write-up. http://aurorahealthcareguide.info/

F.Roget says:
Jan-30-2013 05:13 am

We've examine your blog publish and i also were built with a useful as well as skilled information and facts through the blog page.it's a reputable very good write-up. http://aurorahealthcareguide.info/

J.Hams says:
Dec-25-2012 08:23 am

I have a memory foam mattress
I have a memory foam mattress and love it. I don't think its very hotdf, but then again my house is really cold even in the hot summers. The first night I didn't really like it but now I really, really love it. I have had it for about a year. One thing you might not know is that when they are advertised, it may say something like temperature controlled. Ect. That just means that the spot you have been laying in gets really soft and comfy. The rest of the mattress will feet a lot harder and harder to the touch. Hope that helped and made sense!!! adjustable bed

J.Hams says:
Dec-25-2012 08:23 am

I have a memory foam mattress and love it. I don't think its very hotdf, but then again my house is really cold even in the hot summers. The first night I didn't really like it but now I really, really love it. I have had it for about a year. One thing you might not know is that when they are advertised, it may say something like temperature controlled. Ect. That just means that the spot you have been laying in gets really soft and comfy. The rest of the mattress will feet a lot harder and harder to the touch. Hope that helped and made sense!!! adjustable bed

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...