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Stores Face Fierce Online Competition This Year


Photo: Soumit Nandi (Flickr) even has an app for mobile phones that helps shoppers beat in-store pricing.

Stores all over the country are full of shoppers today, but how many are buying in the store and how many are “showrooming,” or looking in the store with the intent of making the actual purchase online?

Kevin Sterneckert is the vice-president of retail research at Gartner Research. Sterneckert says more and more people are looking at merchandise in the store but using their smartphones and mobile devices to make the purchase online.

“Either they will be in the store looking but they‘re not certain what they‘re gonna buy, so they wanna touch and feel it and think about it and then go home and then they decide to buy,” he says. “Maybe they buy from the company they touched and felt it at or maybe they buy it from someone else.”

Fifty one percent of shoppers are expected to do some type of showrooming this holiday season. Sterneckert says brick-and-moprtar stores are losing to the online shopping world because customers find better service and satisfaction online.

“Most of what the requirement is is for the retailer to begin to think what does the customer expect,” he asks? “What do they want? Why are they even in our store?

He says in order to compete, retailers need to determine the wants and needs of customers in terms of product and service and find ways to meet that demand.

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