If you are not familiar with the terms my goal is to help you understand showrooming and affiliate product marketing and how the two can work together. Many shoppers are perpetrators of this act and really have no idea what they are doing. It's called showrooming, and I bet you have done this, but did not know it. So what exactly is showrooming?
What is showrooming?
Showrooming is researching a product that you want to purchase online but first you go out to a retail store to find a product you what to buy. However, you never planned on purchasing the product in the retail store. You only entered the retail store to touch and feel the product you want to buy. Your final purchase decision is based on what you think after you have touched and have seen the product up close then you proceed to make you purchase back online.
Are we afraid to take the internet's word for it?
We do it because we can't feel, smell or listen to product online. Product interaction can not be done online. We can only view the product we want to purchase. We can read reviews online and these reviews do help in making our purchase decision a little easier. However, many consumers can not take ownership of product without feeling, smelling or hearing the product. So our best option is to enter the retail store to investigate the product we want to purchase online.
When does showrooming a product take place?
Each one of us as consumers go about purchasing goods and services differently, but eventually we reach the conclusion to buy or not buy. Along the way we look at a number of different purchase signals which are different for each.
For example we have different purchase signals when it comes to price. Our signals differ in pricing as we place value on the item. Is this worth X amount of $$$; I think it's only worth this $$$. If it were priced at $$$ I would buy right now.
Another signal we have is quality, how well-made or put together is the product. So the issue with purchasing online when it comes to quality; we actually can not tell. We must rely on other consumer reviews. This purchase signal drives us to the retail store to touch, feel, listen and sometimes smell the product.
How many steps do we go through before we purchase?
You might refer this as your own personal "road to a product purchase" which we all probably have some loosely based steps that we follow to making a purchase. Everybody is different getting to the end result which is to purchase the product we want. In terms of showroomimg, I list these as the steps an online shopper may take to make his or her purchase.
- Determine the need/want
- Research the product/read reviews
- Determine a few final products
- Talk with friends
- Go back online read more reviews
- Enter retail store to investigate
- Settle on product and price
- Return online to make purchase
Retail store operators are learning and studying more and more how online shoppers make their purchases. They are also studying how they can keep these online shoppers in their stores. The smart phone has made it so easy for an online shopper to see items in the store and immediately search online to find it elsewhere for a cheaper price. The goal is retain customers; retail shoppers and online shoppers.
Affiliate product marketing - Is it Good or Bad?
The news media is showing us weekly the changing face of retail. Many of our long time retailers are falling victim to internet shoppers and online shopping sites. The ability to by products elsewhere with the click of a button is hurting retailers. However, it is showing tremendous gains for the big online retailers. There's no need to mention the names, we already know them.
Showroomimg and affiliate product marketing together can be a good. With the amount of affiliate programs and online shoppers searching for product reviews. There are tons of products, product categories, along with millions of searchers looking for reviews.
Promoting popular brands online that already have a good following and trust from its core users showrooming maybe less, and online reviews may suffice. Shoppers may read your reviews go to the retailers to sample the product and then purchase through your affiliate link. Remember they were led to the product by your review.
My thoughts on showrooming are it will continue to become a bigger problem long term as technology grows and it gets easier and easier to purchase from your smart phone. Online marketing will also continue to grow and from the looks it's not going to stop. Showrooming is not going away.
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