What businesses can learn from the "showrooming" trend

Thursday, November 21 2013
What businesses can learn from the


The holidays are almost here, and buyers are ready to go. Soon enough shoppers driving from store to store will hear Mariah Carey telling them that all she wants for Christmas is you - but we all know that's not true of friends and family who most certainly want gifts.

With the arrival of Black Friday, many analysts are considering the changing landscape of consumers and retail. According to the National Retail Foundation, almost 140 million people are set to go online on Thanksgiving weekend to shop for deals, according to the National Retail Foundation. But with the huge numbers ready to turn out that day, 140 million represents less than a quarter of the people who plan to shop that weekend, according to NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

Reading the text, looking for help
"Though many people have already started to check off items from their holiday shopping lists, we fully expect to see many more come out on Thanksgiving Day and throughout the weekend to take in the festive sights and sounds - and to take advantage of unbeatable deals," Shay said.

People shop online in huge numbers, but they still enjoy going to stores to look at products and get a better sense of what they're experiencing. Online sites sometimes do not have anything but snapshots and text descriptions, and people want more in the form of offerings such as webinars. The practices has become so prominent that observers have dubbed it "showrooming," and Best Buy was one of the most affected companies, according to the MIT Technology Review.

Embracing technology
It's similar to what many people have come to understand about business - email is a useful tool, but it does not allow the clarity that is available in direct conversations with options such as video conferencing software. A more visual experience is both preferable and far more useful.

A large problem for the company was that its website was lagging compared to competitors, according to the source. Scott Durchslag, now president of e-commerce for the company, said that the website looked and operated like it had been produced a decade ago, taking advantage of none of the latest technology that entices so many customers.

Now it has changed its minimalist, text-based site to a cutting edge operation. Companies should see the change and realize they need to take their business out of the text-only era of the early internet. With remote meeting software, businesses can take meetings over long distances to the next level.