The threat of showrooming may cause you to cringe when shoppers pull out their smartphones in your dealership and, while showrooming is still a legitimate consideration, webrooming is actually more prevalent than showrooming. Also known as ROBO — research online, buy offline — shopping, webroomers are those shoppers who turn to the Internet throughout their shopping journey, but that ultimately complete their purchase in-store.
The key to handling both showroomers and webroomers is to offer your prospects a positive and consistent experience both online and in-store.
Many buyers want to learn as much as possible about a product before deciding to buy. Almost everyone has a smartphone and it’s easier than ever for shoppers to look up reviews, read product descriptions and compare pricing options online while browsing in-store.
These same buyers also want the gratification of having their purchase in-hand ASAP, so once they’ve made their decision, they’d rather go to a store and buy immediately instead of ordering online and having to pay extra or wait several days for shipping.
It’s important to stay open-minded about people browsing their phones while they’re browsing your inventory, and there are some steps you can take to convert webroomers and showroomers into paying customers.
Don’t ignore shoppers who are on their phones. As tempting as it might be to tune out guests who have their noses buried in their phones, having positive interactions with them can encourage them to come back and purchase from you when they’re ready. They might be researching a product, and they might have questions that your sales team can answer.
In fact, well-informed and web-savvy salespeople are one of your greatest assets. Provide your sales team with tablets, and offer free WiFi in your dealership to make browsing the Internet easier for them and for your customers. Arming your sales team with tablets allows them to guide your customers through the webrooming process and discourages showrooming. They can use the devices to show customers reviews and product descriptions for your inventory along with any other useful information, like customization options or safety ratings.
Giving buyers an incentive to make their purchases in-store can help you convert online shoppers to in-store purchasers. You can offer coupons on your website that customers can use for in-store purchases, offer a price matching program to guarantee shoppers get the lowest price from you or allow customers to order an item online and pick it up in-store.
The buying-and-selling process is constantly changing. Being flexible and changing with it will help your dealership stay on top.
Colleen Malloy is ARI’s director of marketing. Malloy has more than a decade of experience in the powersports industry and previously served as the editor of Motorcycle & Powersports News. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage ARI’s website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff!