For the last two years, brick and motor stores have been targeted by a new, customer led shopping strategy called showrooming. The idea is as follows: customers browse through merchandise at a store to touch and feel the products, go home empty-handed, and then head online to find the products they like at a cheaper price. As in-store sales slumped, large chains like BestBuy responded to the challenge with price match guarantees. If consumers could find products at a cheaper price online, BestBuy would match the price and sell you the product right then and there. This of course lead to some headaches, one such example occurred recently where customers were using fake third-party Amazon listings to get Playstation 4 bundles at $90, $310 off the normal listing of $400.
Price matching only addresses one pain-point in the battle against eCommerce. Giants like Amazon are able to use data analytics to track their customers and create personalized marketing strategies that drive sales. With their “item-to-item collaborative filtering”, Amzaon can track what products customers viewed, what they purchased, and the reviews they left. This allows Amazon to create user profiles that then allow them to make highly targeted email and advertising campaigns. Amazon also has a powerful recommendation engine that refers new products based on past purchases. These powerful algorithms gave eCommerce platforms a large advantage over their brick and motor counter-parts. To fight back, physical stores are rising up to the challenge with their own in-store analytic platforms that seek to be just as powerful and effective in driving personalized in-store experiences.