E-commerce is taking Singapore by storm, and the traditional bricks and mortar stores are feeling the impact. Disruption from e-commerce was partly responsible for the stagnation of the price of rent for prime commercial spaces in malls in 2018 and experts are forecasting similar fate for 2019.
For any online shop to thrive, they have to: a) offer unique products, b) employ cost-effective and efficient modern business models and c) deliver remarkable customer experience.
If you are running an online store, it is likely that you’ve already covered the first two options. However, it has emerged that showrooms can help e-commerce deliver remarkable customer experiences thereby enhance engagement and boost sales.
Here’s how showrooms can work for your e-commerce business.
Touch and feel feature increase a customer’s likelihood to buy
Research shows that more than eight in ten retail customers prefer to purchase products they can touch and feel. They appreciate being able to experience the products first-hand and get to know a product better before they purchase.
For instance, if you are running an online fashion store, the chances are high that your clients will appreciate a showroom where they can interact with the apparel and try on the sizes to see how it fits on their body. Touching a product also helps to eliminate doubts on issues such as quality, which will increase their likelihood to buy.
Showrooms give the opportunity for one-on-one customer service
Customers’ engagement with online stores is often automated and impersonal. Phrases like, “Your Order Number 3456 is Complete” are commonly used when checking out from online stores, with the invoice delivered to the given email address. Automated responses can make the client’s experience more impersonal. However, showrooms give you the opportunity to add the human touch by recruiting knowledgeable sales associates to guide customers and personalized feedback systems. One-on-one customer service allows you to convert nine out of ten purchasing visitors to repeat customers after receiving help from a sales assistant. It also allows you to provide better customer service and build strong customer relationships, thus increasing sales.
Showrooms can be used as part of the supply chain
Logistics costs are always a bane of e-commerce businesses. However, using showrooms in different regions around Singapore as warehouses and order fulfillment centers is a smart move for e-commerce businesses to increase sales. This helps to cut the costs of inventory management and speed up delivery, which also allows you to cut logistics costs significantly.
A showroom can offer a compelling, high-touch experience. For example, for mattress and furniture showrooms, shoppers can try and touch the merchandise and opt for home delivery instead of carrying their purchases home. If you are looking for a showroom rental to showcase your products, our property at Singapore Handicrafts Building offers a new space concept through our subsidiary PickJunction (www.pickjunction.com). This industrial space for rent in Eunos supports with e-commerce services to facilitate furniture and interior-related businesses to lower their investment/capital, and at the same time, sell faster and better. As an e-retailer with a showroom, you do not need to carry a significant amount of inventory and worry about storage space in that showroom. Only a full spectrum of products, sizes and colours are necessary to display your offerings to customers.
Showrooms help in creating a brand experience
Although e-commerce is rapidly rising in Singapore, competition is stiff and it’s hard to stand out. However, smart e-retailers are adjusting the strategy and moving part of the business back to bricks from clicks, albeit reservedly. Smart e-commerce businesses are setting up showrooms which double up as concept stores. These are places where customers can immerse in the brand and brand culture creating an in-store experience and lasting impressions that differentiate their business.
In conclusion, these points indicate that showrooms are great solutions to utilize in direct interaction with customers and complement your online store to increase engagement and boost sales.
E-commerce retailers can certainly benefit from having an industrial space for rent near Eunos MRT, such as our property at Singapore Handicrafts Building. This convenient and accessible location makes it more appealing and easier for customers to pay a visit to your showroom. Located at 72 Eunos Avenue 7, it is surrounded by complementary business trades such as home furnishing and interior designers where there is plenty of foot traffic. There are also workspace units for rent suitable for ancillary office and B1 light industrial ranging from 400 – 2,000 sq ft.