Retailers’ Showrooming Strategies Remain Centered Around Price Competitiveness

April 15, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Mobile Phone | Retail & E-Commerce

RSR-Retailers-Mobile-Price-Comparison-Policies-Apr2013As showrooming becomes increasingly commonplace among consumers, retailers face decisions about what mobile price comparison policies to adopt. According to a new report [download page] from RSR Research, a greater proportion of retailers are choosing to either ignore showrooming practices or price match, although the predominant way of dealing with showrooming remains simply aiming to stay competitive. Strategies for dealing with showrooming appear to differ significantly, though, when sorting survey respondents by performance and size.

So, while 14% of respondents this year report that their response to showrooming is simply to ignore it (double last year’s 7%), “laggards” (with comparable store/channel sales growth of less than 3%) are twice as likely as “winners” (with sales growth of more than 3%) to choose that response. Laggards are also 50% more likely to price match (24% vs. 16%).

Some of that disparity is due to winners simply not having had to deal with showrooming as much yet. According to the results, while only 27% of respondents overall report not having encountered showrooming yet (down from 43% in 2011), that figure rises to 34% among winners. By comparison, 29% of laggards haven’t yet encountered showrooming.

Overall, the researchers indicate that “retailers seem to feel that their advertised policies around mobile price transparency are enough to avoid further damaging their credibility – or conversely, that the practice doesn’t happen often enough that it’s worth changing their whole price strategy over.”

Other Findings:

  • The smallest retailers are far more likely than the largest retailers to ignore price comparisons (24% vs. 7%).
  • The largest retailers don’t appear to have a consensus about how to deal with the showrooming trend: 33% report aiming to be competitive with their pricing, but 27% say they price match.

About the Data: The data is based on an online survey conducted by RSR from January-April 2013, among 134 qualified retail respondents. 37% are from retailers with 2012 revenue of less than $50 million, while 33% are from retailers with more than $1 billion in revenues. More than half are headquartered in the US.


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