pottery barn

How Restoration Hardware Made ‘Showrooming’ An Asset Instead Of An Enemy

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/restoration-hardware-uses-showrooms-2012-12

restoration hardware furniture

Many retailers are terrified of turning into a showroom. They fear consumers will come only to test out the products they’ll later buy online. 

Furniture store Restoration Hardware decided to approach “showrooming” differently by accepting and encouraging it, reports Joan Solsman at The Wall Street Journal

Many stores, including Restoration Hardware’s rival Pottery Barn, fought showrooming by “rushing to lower prices,” Solsman writes. 

But Restoration Hardware decreased its number of physical stores and used the remaining ones as showrooms. Sofas, tables, rugs and other decor were meticulously arranged with an emphasis on the aesthetic. Customers could find even more merchandise online or in catalogues while shopping in the stores.

The tactic is working. Direct-to-consumer now makes up half of Restoration Hardware’s business, and the retailer has reported double-digit sales growth for 10 quarters, according to Solsman.

Restoration Hardware’s model probably wouldn’t work for Best Buy, the most prolific victim of “showrooming,” Solsman cautions. 

Furniture and decor, unlike consumer electronics and other items, aren’t easily searchable by specifications,” Solsman writes. “A highly fragmented market, home furnishings sellers benefit from many players having proprietary merchandise, which stunts online competitive threats.”

DON’T MISS: The Fabulous Life Of The Mysterious Billionaire Behind Zara >

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Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 news No Comments

Why Facebook Has Banned Some People From Seeing The ‘Want’ Button

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/omBVf-XY-vA/heres-why-facebook-isnt-letting-some-people-see-the-want-button-yet-2012-10

Even though Facebook is actively and openly testing a “Want” button, chances are you won’t be able to see it.

Intrigued since rumors flooded the internet earlier this summer, I wanted to see what the highly anticipated button looked like for myself.

I wanted to “Want” something.

Facebook is currently testing the feature with seven different retailers, so I went to Victoria Secret’s web page to check it out. This is what I found:Facebook want button

Collect? But, I didn’t want to collect, I wanted to want!

Confused, I went to the other six testing retailers (including Pottery Barn, Fab.com, and Michael Kors), but they all would only let me collect, too.

I called a Facebook spokesperson, wondering if it was something I was doing. But when I explained my wantless condition, she said, unsurprised, “Oh, that probably means you’re in the Collect group.”

You see, although everyone’s eyes went to the “Want” button in Facebook’s testing announcement, many overlooked that the social media giant is testing a “Collect” and a “Like” (yes, another “Like,” for products not people) button, too.

Users are pre-selected to only be able to do one action.

“We’re testing to see what does the best,” she said. “Who’s to say what we’re going to do in the future.” Facebook won’t say whether it will launch just one, two, all three … or none.

“As the test progresses you might be able to change, but they act exactly the same. It’s just the actual word is just differ! ent.”

Still determined to see a want button, I forced a healthy chunk of the office to go to the Victoria’s Secret page to see what button popped up. Ten people I approached in a row were also in the “Collect” group, followed by two with “Like.” (Yawn).

It wasn’t until I got to Ashley Lutz, our retail reporter (appropriately enough), that I found someone in the “Want” group.facebook want

So chances are, if you’re desperate to click the “Want” button, you’re going to have to go through a handful of friends before you find it. And enjoy it while you can, because it could easily be scrapped if the other two actions yield a better performance.

Although, the “Collect” button actually appears to offer more features than “Want” or “Like.” Taking a page out of Pinterest’s e-book, you can place the products you’re interested in in different categories like fashion, home, and shoes.

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Sunday, October 14th, 2012 news No Comments

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