On July 20th at 11:30am retail industry experts gathered for our monthly "Twitter Party" hosted by One Step Retail Solutions. The theme of the month was indepedent retailing in honor of Independent Retailer month (July). Active contributors included Retail Smart Guys, King Retail Solutions, Independent Retail USA and Smart Retail. This discussion was on the topic of showrooming and indie retail versus internet giants as suggested by Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys.
Independent retailers competition for sales against internet giants is exacerbated by "*showrooming" which effectively puts independent retailers resources to work for the likes of Amazon.
The general observation is that this is very much an ongoing issue for independent retailers and attendees offered several tips to counteract show rooming, key being strategic merchandising and top-notch customer service. Other suggestions are educating your sales staff on the benefits of shopping locally so that they can in turn educate your shoppers and have way to address showrooming.
Benefits of buying local include feeding into your own communities economy and avoid unnecessary pollutants through excess shipping and transport of goods.
An additional resource is opening up your very own eCommerce site, made possible by top of the line Point of Sale systems.
a) Making your products easily viewable by your customers at all hours, everyday.
b) Make it so that your buyers can make a purchase at any hour, everyday. Pick-up in store may be a good arrangement.
Here are some of the most memorable Tweets.
@danjab Another point: retailers should not try to compete on price. You never win that battle! Hold price, provide great service!
@IndieRetailUSA Shopping local helps biz owners who are passionate about making a difference. They're the first to give back to their community.
@danjab Benefits to buying locally: Esp in fashion, you need people who can help you look great by choosing the best items for you.
@kingretail Mom & Pop Stores account for >1/2 of US retailers! Great service in store is always memorable!
@danjab Make sure your staff has COMPLETE product knowledge. Customers will buy if they are educated.
@kingretail we just did a survey (results not yet announced) but basically yes, Americans love local grocers, boutiques, etc.
@danjab Indie retail defeats price by providing better value & service & being FIRST with new fashion & product. Trumps price every time
To follow any of these active Twitter accounts:
@danjab Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys
@kingretail King Retail Solutions
@indieretailUSA for Independent Retail USA
@smartretail for Smart Retail
To attend our August Retail Twitter Party go to http://twebevent.com/RetailParty, with the look and feel of a chat room it is easy to discuss concepts amongst your peers and retail industry specialists.
August 17th at 11am PST - Discussion of Visual Merchandising and Retail Design
*showrooming, where a buyer checks out a product in store to ensure quality or value and then purchases on-line for better price. Your retail store acts as a showroom for e-giants.