Pushing Back On Showrooming

On a panel Mobile Insider Summit focused on how brands and retailers are responding to smartphone-wielding shoppers, mobile experts from companies including SapientNitro, Usablenet and Metaio suggested stores adopt tactics aimed at enhancing the in-store experience through video, AR installations, loyalty programs, and mobilized-optimized sites focused on price-matching to keep “showrooming” customers from heading out the door.

Carin Van Vuuren, Chief Marketing Officer, Usablenet, also pointed to the use of tablets in stores as vehicles for shoppers to learn more about products. Best Buy, Marks & Spencer and Aeroposale are among retailers employing tablets to engage customers. On the consumer side, tablets are also proving to be better at driving e-commerce than smartphones.

Panelists aren’t in complete agreement about the right approach. Sarah Van Heirseele, VP, Digital, Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide, and Dan Israel, strategy lead, mobile, at SapientNitro, question the cost effectiveness of AR for instore. “A lot of it is a little bit gimmicky,” said Israel. But he pointed to Lego’s use of AR in connection with product packaging as an example of how to do it right. But those are far and few between.




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