This weekend I was buying a couch at a local Crate and Barrel and worked with a super professional salesperson named Beth. She helped us choose a couch, a fabric and created a take home package to ensure that it fits and the fabric matched. I even learned she has four kids and lives a town over from me. But, even with all of that, I almost showroomed her.
For those who don’t know what showrooming is, its when you use a physical retail store to see, try, and touch products before buying them online. For many local retailers it’s a serious concern. Those little smartphones we all carry around are now walking point-of-sale (POS) devices for any e-commerce site. You would think that Crate and Barrel wouldn’t care. Their products are exclusive and regardless of where I buy, they still get the sale. But, where would that leave Beth?
The reason I nearly showroomed her was purely out of convenience. By the time I got home and checked the dimensions, I knew I wanted the product. The plan was to call Beth and do the transaction over the phone, but as it turned out, I needed to be in-store to apply for a card to get a special discount. I could have easily applied for the card online and purchased the couch in one transaction, and have saved myself a bunch of travel time. Essentially, I could have very easily showroomed her.
Instead, I decided to leave the wife and kids at home and go back to see Beth for the sale. This was a good thing, because she found me an additional deal that saved me money, and she even worked with the delivery guys to make sure my couches made it to my house in the same weekend. Go, Beth!
Despite how amazing our technologies get, or how crazy Amazon’s delivery verticals can get, there’s absolutely nothing that can replace a good Beth and a rewarding in-store experience.