A new study about the effects of “show rooming” is an interesting read. Specifically, it stated that Fish stores were at risk for the phenomenon – a term that refers to the way shoppers are now using brick-and-mortar stores to see and touch the product and then go online to purchase the product for a cheaper price. Best Buy and other mass market retailers are the first that come to mind but the study specifically called out known pet stores like Petsmart.
In the aquatics industry the “local fish store” has been described as the backbone of the industry. Curious folks will wonder into the store and walk out with an aquarium in various freshwater and saltwater flavors. Some major manufactures choose to produce a line of products that are only available direct through stores eliminating the “showrooming” problem. Seachem is a great case study with their Salinity and Aquavitro line of products. The stores that participate in the program reporting good results and hobbyists seem to like the selection of products.
The showrooming study was produced by Placed, a location analytics startup headquarterd in Seattle. The white paper is free if you volunteer a few tidbits about yourself here.