Aug 12

Showrooming definition

Category: Linux,Showrooming   — Published by goeszen on August 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm

What is Showrooming?? Wikipedia defines Showrooming as "... the act of examining merchandise in a brick and mortar retail store without purchasing it there, then shopping online to find a lower price for the same item."

This definition is unsatisfactory. A better work-thesis kind of definition might be:

Showrooming, from a customer perspective, is the act of examining merchandise in a brick and mortar retail store while evaluating sourcing/buying options on- and off-site by means of mobile devices. From a retail perspective, this means that a seller actively does or encourages showrooming, probably with the benefit that doing so generates (additional) revenue streams.

and here is why:

The shortcomings of the Wikipedia definition are that it, number one, includes 'not buying it there' into showrooming, while showrooming as a term, could have a much richer meaning.
Showrooming, in a future economy, might bring to life players that open brick and mortar "Showrooming Showrooms" just for the sole purpose of presenting, but may just as well follow a combined business model: An online retailer might open shops for the pupose of displaying articles for hands-on inspection, although this technically means 'not buying there' the Wikipedia definition notions that the displayer is ultimately not an involved party in the sale. Or a showroom might display goods with a bigger separation between display and warehousing space, so that a customer can examine an example product, and, upon buying, will get it from a (distant) warehouse. Argos in the UK is an interesting example. Due to their large inventory they step back in terms of showrooming as the chain displays goods only by paper catalog but once a customer decides to buy, the actual good is dispatched from the adjacent warehouse. This concept could be easily applied to showrooming where the display area is a more or less conventionally looking shop while the POS is either the warehouse's pick-up area or an online shop backend.

Second, the definition overly stresses price-comparison, while showrooming has the potential to be more, a service. For example, a showroom might display a good that is only available from one seller at one price-point. In this case showrooming is a service offering a place where a customer can evaluate a product in real-life by hands-on inspection. If we elaborate this concept more, we could think of Showrooms that display goods as their sole business model, while the actual seller tracks which showroom helped in closing the ultimate sale.

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