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Tips from merchandising guru, Ali Levy,

I learned a new word today while reading the latest edition of the National Retail Federation’s SmartBrief newsletter online.  Showrooming – “… the practice of researching merchandise in a retail store and then purchasing it elsewhere.” According to PM Digital president Suzy Sandberg and author of the article 4 Ways to Fight Showrooming, she states that “…consumers increasingly are using their mobile devices to find the lowest price on products after checking them out in brick-and-mortar stores. Merchants have some tools to fight the showrooming trend, including merchandising that compels customers to buy then and there and competitive pricing that helps ensure shoppers won’t find better deals online…”

According to, a web service that measures digital business trends and analysis, consumers use their Smartphones in the following ways:

    • 33% to find a store
    • 21% to compare prices
    • 20% look for deals

Conversely, where one is shopping can skew the numbers.

  • Only 39% of mobile coupons are used in clothing stores as opposed to 41% used in grocery and department stores.
  • 73% are used in electronics stores for those higher ticket items.  There are strategies you can put into action to help combat being a showroom for customers and compel them to make purchases in your store.

Currently 76% of buying decisions are made in the store.  This comes from the POPAI 2012 Shopper Engagement Study.  While this study focuses primarily on the grocery store experience, its basic premise bisects all tenets of retail – and that is emphasizing the importance of driving in-store marketing and creative promotions to enhance the shopping experience.

  • Merchandising – this is Suzy Sandberg’s number one actionable plan to fight showrooming.  She says it’s difficult to replicate the online experience when it comes to making buying decisions.  Brick and mortars have the upper hand over their online counterpart.  Here are some tips:
    • Get Them Inside: Change your window displays every 2 weeks to keep customers engaged.  Some specialty chain stores are even using QR codes as part of their window displays that shoppers can scan for deal that encourage them to come inside.


Layer, layer, layer! The more you layer an outfit; you can double or triple a single transaction.

Engage with bright colors.  Position the mannequins for added interest.

    • Ooh and Ahh Them:  Draw customers in with an engaging store entrance that is lively and tells an immediate product story – think of grocery stores during strawberry season – they always feature what you will need to make strawberry shortcake next to the stacks of fruit.  Boom!  Done!

These lights drew me immediately into this store.  It’s pretty impressive
but at least gives you the idea of what makes a dramatic entrance.

View this complete article and past merchandising articles and our Merchandising Monday’s quicktips at

Description: Ali LevySIA is working with visual merchandising consultant Ali Levy, to provide retailers with some fresh merchandising ideas for increasing sales and interest from consumers. Levy’s impressive resume includes managing retail, buying and trade show/retail merchandising efforts for some of the industry’s biggest names including The North Face, SmartWool, Cloudveil and Marmot. For more information about her company, contact Ali at or visit her website,