Showrooming continues to be a hot topic in the retail community, often being spoken in the same hushed tones as a three year old mentioning the "monster" underneath the bed. Retailers are coming to grips with this new threat, and more importantly the change in shopper behavior, by developing strategies that allow them to interact with the shopper throughout the new path to purchase.
The first step in designing these new strategies is to gain a better understanding of how the shopper is interacting throughout an omnichannel experience - a new form of retail analytics. It is not enough for a retailer like Target to start demanding unique products that can't be price shopped online, what they need to do is truly understand which products are actually being showroomed. Trying to fight the "boogeyman" across all product categories carried in a mass merchant is crazy (i.e. boiling the ocean). Instead, merchants need to understand which product categories and/or the specific products where they are losing the battle. Over time retailers can learn which products are most at risk at specific store locations, giving them a leg up against their online competitors and taking the fight to where the showrooming battle is actually taking place.
Retailers have done a good job handling the first step in the showrooming era, admitting they have a problem. The next step is to gain a deeper understanding of what is actually happening so they can begin to take action.