Showrooming To Beat

Competition comes from the words 'to strive with" combat means fight with.  Outrunning is different than destroying. 

I was listening to Bloomberg on BestBuy and its problems, and the idea of showrooming, the term for making a selection in a brick and mortar and buying online...  This of course is something of a concern for many brick and mortar stores.  The analyst repeated the line "retail is theatre" something I believe to be true.

I went showrooming at Burberrys here in SF because I think my trench coat is one size too small.  I guess I am not alone.  The do not have the classic trenches on the floor, you have to go to the 3rd floor by elevator, and then have someone go get one.

The salesman acted very put out, as though I was showrooming.  For his attitude he missed me giving him feedback...  today's production of the classic trench runs too short in the length, the lining sucks, and the quality overall is down. And the black buttons look odd, they should go back to the tortoise shell.

I am not buying online because used is cheaper, but because used is a better coat.  The Burberry strategy is to make it as hard as possible to buy what Burberry you want, and they try to keep info from the customer, and in so doing, cut themselves off.  As I looked at what they had for sales, the quality was poor.  Obviously the plan is to milk the brand as they rip off customers on quality offering so-so style to the terminally insecure.  Doesn't sound sustainable.  London Fog should come roaring back.

When Barnes and Noble was my publisher, they would go out of stock, and their deal with Ingraham to never let Amazon go out of stock was not maintained.  I would see "out of stock" by amazon of my book, and someone else would have it available fot $200 "Ships now!"  

Turns out nobody else had the book, they could just get it as fast as amazon could, and claimed to have it in stock.  In time I also saw people selling my book used next to my amazon listing at 25% off, plus one penny less than the next guy.

When I fired B&N and began printing my own, it dawned on me, looking at the features amazon allows, that I could compete against the one penny less crowd by matching price on used books, but offering "signed by author."  Crushed everyone at the 25% off price point.  And funny thing, given the markups, I was making more money selling at this point, but running out of dinged books to sell at the price point.  ha!  I just shipped perfectly good books as dinged and made more money.  What do I care?

Google won by being the go to place for search, and getting people away as fast as possible, yahoo wanted them to search and stay.  Brick and mortars should encourage showrooming. Use our computers to search the entire world for exactly the product so and so wants.  (The world defined as everyone who pays an affiliate fee to the brick and mortar store.)  

Theatre:  People looking at big screens, considering various products, being advised by brick and mortar people (and perhaps a designer) as to what they are looking at, if the price is fair, all the kinds of concerns people have...  theatre pushing sales.  Whatever they buy, the brick and mortar gets an affiliate fee, massive amounts of information, plus the opportunity to cross sell.

Amazon brought brick and mortar onto Amazon to compete with Amazon.  Brick and mortar ought to bring Amazon into brick and mortar to compete with Amazon.

No idea if this would work, but I think it should be tested as a hypothesis...

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