Do you "showroom" shop then buy online?

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by vestaviascott, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. vestaviascott

    vestaviascott

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Vestavia Hills, Alabama
    I am helping a local aquatic garden center with their online marketing and tech support. One of the challenges they have with their retail shop and sales is "showrooming".

    Showrooming is the practice where consumers use local retail shops to gather info on products they then go online to purchase. It may be involve trying on a particular shoe or simply holding a product in their hands to get a sense of the quality. One they have satisfied their curiosity, they leave and buy online.

    In the aquatic garden shop, they are faced with customers who come into the store and, pardon the pun, "fish" for information about their pond problems or questions, then end up leaving empty handed, or with small token courtesy purchases. These same customers later return to discuss problems they have with the products they bought online.

    I'm curious if any of you have been on the giving or receiving end of this phenomena (that admittedly, we all do to some degree), and...

    1) If you are a showroomer, what would you need from a retailer to convince you to buy local vs online?

    2) If you are a retail shop, what steps have you taken to convert showrooming shoppers to loyal paying customers?
     
    vestaviascott, Aug 10, 2017
    #1
    MoonShadows and Gemma like this.
    1. Advertisements

  2. vestaviascott

    Tula

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,945
    Likes Received:
    3,079
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I try to support our local fish hatchery; however when their prices are considerably higher then online, they'll price match :)
     
    Tula, Aug 11, 2017
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. vestaviascott

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,082
    Likes Received:
    565
    Location:
    Arkansas
    1) Good service, Not bugging me (like a car salesman) and following me all around, yet being helpful and polite, as well as holding a steady conversation (if it comes up), have DISPLAYS of an item or product that can give you a feel of what it will look like in your care (whatever that item is, a picture frame, anything).



    2) Getting to know the customer (Extremely important), Listening to the customer and acknowledging them and not just nodding your head, basically #1 above.
     
    DutchMuch, Aug 11, 2017
    #3
    Gemma likes this.
  4. vestaviascott

    Jimmy Gibson

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2016
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    816
    Location:
    Jackson TN
    Although I hate to admit it..... At 63 years old Sarah and I have become almost complete Online buyers, Amazon is our best friend, we pay for everything by Debit card, or by bank draft, even our Church contribution. All that being said I still remember how to do it the old way
     
    Jimmy Gibson, Aug 11, 2017
    #4
    MoonShadows and Gemma like this.
  5. vestaviascott

    Lisak1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    6,932
    Likes Received:
    7,784
    Location:
    Northern IL
    I much prefer to support the brick and mortar stores, but they have to work to earn my business. I'm not going to shop in a place where the employees are undereducated, under motivated, uninterested, and uninspired. I've walked into stores where the employees never looked up from their phones to greet me or ask if they could help. Or they just continue talking amongst themselves and ignore the customers milling about in the store. Know your product, educate your employees, and act interested when I walk in and you'll most likely get my money, even if your price is a bit more. I understand the concept of overhead and I'm willing to pay extra for the in-person experience. But if I have to educate myself online before I shop, then I might as well shop online, too.
     
    Lisak1, Aug 11, 2017
    #5
  6. vestaviascott

    Gemma

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    2,571
    Likes Received:
    2,446
    Personally, I dislike shopping in stores cause of pricing, and cause I like to research and compare and it's way easier online
    eta Lack of selection is often the reason I end up shopping online
     
    Gemma, Aug 11, 2017
    #6
    MoonShadows and DutchMuch like this.
  7. vestaviascott

    sissy sissy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    31,320
    Likes Received:
    14,351
    Location:
    Axton virginia
    Thing is that you need to trust them to sell you only what you need and not everything that you don't need .They need to be honest and open and knowledgeable .I hate when they pretend to be interested .Besides that nearest place that sells garden pond supplies here is over an hour away and it is an aquascape store and they tell you on the phone they have the product so you go and they are out of stock .
     
    sissy, Aug 11, 2017
    #7
    Gemma and DutchMuch like this.
  8. vestaviascott

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,082
    Likes Received:
    565
    Location:
    Arkansas
    THIS
    is why I cant find a job. (I don't even own a phone and im sixteen)
     
    DutchMuch, Aug 11, 2017
    #8
    Gemma likes this.
  9. vestaviascott

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    33,610
    Likes Received:
    18,421
    Location:
    Frederick, Maryland
    Mainly on line, to much trouble to drive into town. I have never liked shopping. Hate shopping malls, the internet is my store.
     
    addy1, Aug 11, 2017
    #9
  10. vestaviascott

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    7,177
    Likes Received:
    5,640
    Location:
    Pensacola, Florida
    I must basically agree with this post by @Lisak1. Though not running a 'brick and mortar. storefront operation,in my years as a contractor, I did provide retail opportunities for customers.
    The absolutely most important thing that a B & M can do that an on-line operation can't do, at least not nearly as well, is to provide exemplary service before, during and after the sale. To accomplish this you and all of your staff need to be fully educated with the performance (the HOW) of every product and the science behind the need for each product (the What and WHY). As silly as this may sound, you and your staff needs to know more than your most educated customer.
    This is exactly the philosophy that I practiced during all the years that I was in business and, even though I have been retired for over 2 years, I still get referral calls from people trying to talk me out of retirement if only just for them. I have been told by many that the word on the street is that I am still the go-to guy. I do still occasionally take on a consulting job, but only if it can be done remotely.
    Reducing all of this to one simple sentence-
    You have to sell yourself before you can sell your product.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Aug 11, 2017
    #10
  11. vestaviascott

    Jhn

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    606
    Location:
    Maryland
    No, I don't showroom shop then buy online. I tend to research products i buy on my own.

    I agree with Meyer. Being a contractor myself albeit in a different field. A B&M store can beat online retailers on service for the most part. One of the products we offer and sub out to a local company ( when we are busy) is because if anything goes wrong with the product they will come out and service it . I tend to push this company's product to my customers for this very reason.

    All this being said I try to support my LFS, or local pond shops to a point. However, I do find myself buying things online more and more. Especially the critters/plants I keep in my tanks and ponds. Unfortunately, around me the fish especially are much healthier when bought online than from most of my LFS's.
     
    Jhn, Aug 11, 2017
    #11
    Gemma and MoonShadows like this.
  12. vestaviascott

    vestaviascott

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Vestavia Hills, Alabama
    Wow. Some really helpful information already. Thanks for feedback all who have weighed in!
     
    vestaviascott, Aug 11, 2017
    #12
  13. vestaviascott

    Faebinder

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,174
    Likes Received:
    649
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    i hate inaccurate zoning of the plants. I'll look elsewhere online.

    I hate inaccurate water tolerance of plants... every time I walk into our local garden place and I see obedient plants needing a "moist soil" I just shake my head.

    If I see a fish dead or dying I would never buy fish from that store.
     
    Faebinder, Aug 11, 2017
    #13
    Gemma, sissy and MoonShadows like this.
  14. vestaviascott

    zeuspaul

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    San Diego
    I don't showroom shop. Perhaps the other way around. I can do better research online than in a retail outlet. Sometimes I will make my selection online and then purchase locally if I am concerned about shipping issues.

    I make a lot of purchases online due to better selection and convenience.
     
    zeuspaul, Aug 11, 2017
    #14
    Gemma and MoonShadows like this.
  15. vestaviascott

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    1,547
    Location:
    Stroudsburg, PA
    I seldom show room shop, but when I do and then buy online, it's usually because the B&M price is way too high or the salesperson really does not know the product. For most hard goods, I tend to research and buy online, giving my business to whoever sells the product I want for the best price and lowest shipping cost.
     
    MoonShadows, Aug 11, 2017
    #15
    Gemma and DutchMuch like this.
  16. vestaviascott

    Faebinder

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,174
    Likes Received:
    649
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    For the expensive product... unfortunately online always has better prices. It's hard to compete with amazon when a lot of their prices are low and their delivery is free for prime. You're almost better off putting most of your products online so others can see them. I'm talking about pumps, filters etc.
     
    Faebinder, Aug 11, 2017
    #16
    Gemma likes this.
  17. vestaviascott

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    1,547
    Location:
    Stroudsburg, PA
    Be careful with Prime. Some manufacturers mark up the cost of the product to cover the "free" prime shipping. Whenever I find something I want on Amazon, I usually check a few other sources; most times Amazon Prime is the best price, but I have found instances where another site WITH shipping is cheaper than Amazon Prime. What I usually do is google the item and then click on "Shopping" at the top to check a few other places.
     
    MoonShadows, Aug 11, 2017
    #17
    Gemma and Jimmy Gibson like this.
  18. vestaviascott

    EricV

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    443
    Location:
    Chicago (W suburbs)
    I don't "showroom" in the sense of going somewhere explicitly to check something out and then buying online. But I do wander through (to take and example) the pond section of various garden places around here. I'll buy things that make sense, but price is important. Just to give two examples. When I see previous generation Laguna pumps in faded boxes marked at 50% over the online price of the current ones, I'm not going to buy. When I see water plants in 4" pots (the small ones) at $14/each, no, I'm not going to buy that.

    This summer I've been going to a lot of places to take a look at fish. But I've got enough now that I'm looking for something that stands out, so most times I leave empty handed.
     
    EricV, Aug 11, 2017
    #18
    Gemma likes this.
  19. vestaviascott

    MitchM

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    6,886
    Likes Received:
    6,954
    Location:
    Water Valley, Alberta
    The only successful response a brick and mortar store has that I have seen work is to offer price matching and t emphasize service.
    It may negatively affect profits, but that's today's reality.
    If the price matching results in selling for below cost, then perhaps a discussion with the supplier is in order.
    Make sure the potential customer considers shipping delays/costs when purchasing online and the difficulties of dealing with returns and warranties.
     
    MitchM, Aug 11, 2017
    #19
    qclabrat likes this.
  20. vestaviascott

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    1,547
    Location:
    Stroudsburg, PA
    Many companies set MSRP and MAP pricing for their retailers . Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price and Minimum Advertised Price. Many online retailers can sell at the MAP price and still make a handsome profit because of the low overhead. It is tough for a B&M place to sell at the MAP price because of their overhead...unless they are moving a ton of products.
     
    MoonShadows, Aug 11, 2017
    #20
    qclabrat and herzausstahl like this.
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.