Multichannel and omnichannel shopping has become the new norm for retail shoppers who like to browse and shop for products both on- and offline. Many customers are using physical stores as “product showrooms,” where they can look at products in-person before purchasing them online from home. Many modern retailers are transforming their stores into retail showrooms to enhance the customer shopping experience in fresh, innovative ways!
Retail Showroom vs. Retail Store
When asking yourself, “What is a showroom?” you may envision window-shopping for products. A retail showroom isn’t far from that vision, but it also allows customers to test, try and examine merchandise in-person, while the final purchase transaction often takes place online. The showroom model gives customers the opportunity to inspect products and get to know them better before committing to a purchase online. Product showrooms are designed for interactive, high-touch experiences. Customers (generally) can’t take anything home with them, and must be compelled to make the purchase after leaving the retail showroom!
The product showroom model has been popular in the automobile industry, high-end furniture and mattress stores, as well as other high-end retail segments, for years. Modern day retail showrooms are becoming more and more common for traditional brick-and-mortar, online and large retailers. Many retail companies see how a product showroom could benefit their business, especially when potential customers are shopping in a digitally-centered world
Advantages of a Retail Store Showroom
Provide a Personalized Shopping Experience
Retail showrooms provide an intimate, personalized shopping experience for customers. Shoppers can try out different products for themselves with the help of a shopping assistant and speak with customer service one-on-one.
Nordstrom has developed a personalized, upscale showroom experience called Nordstrom Local. Customers can work with a personal shopper to find items that might interest them and get personalized fashion tips from a stylist. Shoppers can enjoy a coffee or juice in the lounge as they wait for a dressing room or access to the on-site alteration service!
Encourage Interaction with Your Products
Product showrooms allow you to invite customers to try on products and interact with them tangibly before making a purchase decision. Clearly Contacts, an online glasses and contacts retailer, expanded with retail showrooms where customers meet with optometrists, get eye exams and contact fittings, and try on glasses. They can place an order in-store and have their glasses delivered right to their doorstep. Clearly Contacts’ retail showrooms also give customers the option of returning products or having their glasses fixed in-person.
Introduce New Audiences to Your Brand
Brands get the opportunity to connect with new potential customers in retail showrooms. People that may be unfamiliar with your products or services can learn more about them in-person with one-on-one customer service. Without feeling pressured to buy an item right away, many shoppers are more comfortable entering a product showroom where they can test products out for themselves.
Reduce Retail Store Square Footage
Large retail spaces can be expensive and require a lot of maintenance. The product showroom model is a great alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts. A retail showroom eliminates the need for on-site inventory, saving you square footage and the associated costs.