Showrooms: Fresh Look at the Old Concept

Darina Borushko
September 5, 2019

The digital revolution rapidly changes the face of every industry, and commerce is no exception. With nearly two billions of digital buyers worldwide on the one hand, and 52% of millennials expressing their preference for experience-related shopping on the other, it is obvious that the industry has to undergo a significant transformation: the one that will lead to digitally-focused, yet more experiential commerce. And the solution is already here — renewed showrooms. 

What is Modern Showroom?

 

Combining the best of what traditional shops and e-commerce platforms have on offer, modern showrooms are predicted to become a new normal as early as in 2025. Even today, there are already some industry players like Bonobos, Modcloth, MM. LaFleur and others, who have committed themselves fully to this brand new commerce model, proving its relevance and serviceability.

Why Showrooms?

Although currently online shops are considered to be at the top of the game, renewed showrooms have a competitive advantage over them. The statistic below points out some good reasons why showrooms that offer the ability to test products and then order them online beat online stores.

When it comes to physical stores, showrooms prevail by offering a precious opportunity to buy goods online. What is more, the shopping experience offered by progressive showrooms is much more exciting than traditional shopping.

But what is the difference between traditional shops, e-commerce platforms, and the new showroom model? Let’s find it out. 

Comparing Different Commerce Models 

The first thing to clarify is the purpose of each commerce model.

  • Physical stores are designed to make a customer leave a shop with a purchased product after it will be inspected. 
  • Online shops are aimed at customers who order products online without inspecting them. 
  • Showrooms allow customers to inspect the merchandise before making an order, combining the best of both online and physical stores. 

The table below points out features that make showrooms similar to completely traditional and online shops. Matches are highlighted with colours. 

Benefits of Showrooms

According to Andres Mendoza Pena, a partner in the retail practice of global strategy and management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, showrooms is another step to better carter consumer needs. Here are the key benefits offered by showrooms to customers and business owners:

Challenges Showrooms are Facing

Even though the combination of the best features specific to traditional and online shops gives showrooms a competitive advantage, it also increases the number of challenges the new model is facing. It means that players willing to run their business in a showroom format need to address problems common to their predecessors, plus find ways of solving newly appeared ones. Here are some of the showrooms-specific challenges:

  • Show the depth of what business can offer within a limited number of items.
  • Offer in-store ways of ordering products to compete with traditional stores.
  • Improve the speed of delivery to compete with e-commerce platforms.
  • Create experiential environments that will fulfil customers in new and innovative ways.

How Tech Solutions Can Help?

As the world rapidly moves towards digitalization, the use of advanced technologies is now considered as the first aid in improving the quality of services and increasing customer satisfaction. When it comes to commerce, the current situation is the following: customers no longer want to just place a product of uncertain quality into an online cart or walk into a shop, buy something and leave. It makes retailers look for solutions that will ensure convenience, speed, security, trust and ‘shopping as an experience’, which can be achieved neither at home nor in the shop. 

The good news is that modern technologies open up enough space for accomplishing these goals. And here are just a couple of examples with use cases.

Conclusion

Commerce is constantly evolving, and owners of both traditional and online shops have to adjust to the new environments. With more and more showrooms opening worldwide, it becomes crucial for business owners to find a way of gaining a competitive advantage, and this is exactly where technologies come into play.

With more than 20 years of experience in delivering solutions for retail & e-commerce, Elinext developers are aware of all the handicaps specific to the industry, knowing exactly how to address any issue, capable of generating tons of brilliant ideas for successful business solutions and having everything needed to turn them into reality. Contact us, and we will help you to get a tech solution that will work for your company success.

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