Recently my wife and I have been looking for new window coverings. If the high street is struggling in like for like product retail, surely they have the advantage when it comes to face-to-face service and installation which would follow.
Naturally the first port of call is the world wide web to allow us to view hundreds of blind options quickly, and then compare prices. With some selections narrowed down we were able to order samples, for free, direct to our door. It doesn’t get much more convenient.
Having measured up we began to worry about what could go wrong with sinking a fair sum of money into blinds, if we’d got the details wrong… To the high street!
A few local companies short-listed we set about visiting them on a Saturday. One diverted to a mobile, one shut early, the other was open for business so off we went.
On arrival we were able to see what the options were in real life. Great! My wife wasn’t so keen on what we were planning on getting so a potential fallout was averted. Even better! And so to the salesman.
We mentioned we’d seen various blinds on the web, seen some samples, would like to see more. We spoke about our window dimensions and our requirements. The response was being thrust a sample book (obviously nothing we could take home) told there were details about light transmission, thermal efficiency with no explanation and no interest in selling us anything.
I sensed that this jaded salesman had seen it all before. Showrooming. The process of checking something out in a bricks and mortar store only to go and buy online.
We took an hour or more out of our day to engage with this local business, bash our head against the wall window trying to get this salesman to understand our needs and offer a service and sell something. We were all set to buy. We were red hot leads and not showroomers.
Perhaps this is a tale of poor salesmanship, or perhaps it is a sign of what showrooming is doing to the high street.