business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Marketing Daily quotes a new NPD Group study saying that “15 to 20 percent of consumers are showrooming for such products as electric knives, sewing machines, power tools, and hairsetters” - categories described as “a little more technical and somewhat expensive,” and therefore ideal for the practice of going into stores to see and feel a product, and then ordering the item for less money online.

The interesting thing is that NPD Group interprets this as a positive sign - that it means that a lot of people feel it is important to examine certain products physically before buying them. (Always look on the bright side of life?) It then falls to these bricks-and-mortar stores to find ways to actually keep them in the store, offering prices and/or services that make online alternatives less appealing.

One thing they already have going for them is the fact that the product is more accessible and immediate; that’s something with which online retailers cannot compete. But clearly they have to offer more.

To use a baseball analogy, there are runners on base. it is up to bricks-and-mortar retailers to drive them home.
KC's View: