Are You A Showroomer?

Sunday 21st April 2013

I found this story on the BBC site, and it resonated with me immediately for a number of reasons. Perhaps it will with you too. There is a point to the story that we can all profit from.

‘Have you ever seen something you wanted in a shop, tried it, checked the price online on your smartphone, found it was cheaper, and walked out? Welcome to the world of “showrooming”.

 “The staff at Jessops would like to thank you for shopping with Amazon” read the sign in a shop window shortly after the British camera chain went into administration. 

It was a dry reaction to a growing problem for “bricks and mortar”-focused retailers. Gadget stores, bookshops and the cosmetics industry are all losing sales to showroomers, but solutions have proved hard to find.’

It is fully understandable why retailers hate showroomers, but their emotions are misplaced. Austerity bites everybody, and shops are not charities that deserve our unqualified support.

The retail industry is in the middle, or perhaps near the end, of a major shopping revolution. The battle has been lost, and stores that now charge ‘browsing fees’ are merely delaying the inevitable. The model served us well, but is now truly broken, and no amount of tinkering will fix it.

Some traditional retailers will survive, and will do so by embracing change, and reinventing themselves. Business models that survived largely unchanged for years are now required to rip up the plan and start again every few weeks or months. Never before has change been so  rapid and dramatic. Welcome to the new world!

We have choices too. What continues to work well in our lives? What is not working? Is it worth the effort to fix it? Should we be putting our energies in a different place? What does our inner voice tell us?

I wish I knew the answers to these questions. Fortunately wiser heads from the past and the present have always come up with answers. Often their answers were not popular at the time. There are plenty of really good books, videos, and audiobooks packed with information about these Illuminati. I’m always delighted to receive your recommendations and share them with members.

Have a cracking week in the showrooms, and I hope you find what you are looking for.

Best wishes, Steve