Read original story on: Gizmodo
The growing power of ecommerce is bleeding into brick-and-mortar retail. Walmart has reportedly informed managers of its roughly 5,000 stores across the US that they can match prices with Amazon.com and other online retailers. As 21% of US respondents use a smartphone to research online in their purchase journey, according to Google’s consumer barometer, we expect more practices like this to be formalized in retail stores to combat the showrooming effect.
In the most overt attempt to battle Showrooming yet, an Australian store has decided to charge $5 for “just looking” that will be deducted when goods are actually purchased. The goal is to get people to purchase actual items in the physical store, and discourages looking on phones and other mobile devices to compare and contrast prices – the management claims, of course, that their policies are in line with other stores and that their physical location has unique products worth investigating. The policy has been panned online, though, as many analysts think this policy will turn potential customers off from even entering the store in the first place, and many commenters have agreed that it seems like a desperate ploy. However you spin it, this is just another sign that brick-and-mortar stores are genuinely threatened by showrooming’s popularity.