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Many customers come into a store simply to check out the product in person before buying it online. It's called "showrooming," and many business owners have had enough. In fact, one store is charging customers a $5 fee for "just looking" as a way to discourage "showrooming."
In Brisbane, Australia, a specialty food store is imposing a $5 fee just for browsing the store's merchandise, reports Business Insider. But if customers purchase something from the store, the $5 will be deducted from the final purchase price.
Critics have ripped apart this store's strategy. But is there no other way to combat "showrooming"?
Of course the problem with charging customers a $5 "just looking" fee is that you may drive away many potentially paying customers. Customers often have no idea they will be spending money in a store until after they browse around. By imposing a "just looking" fee, these casual customers may no longer drop in. In addition, many paying customers may stay away just out of principle.
Instead of charging customers to browse, here are some other strategies to combat "showrooming" that may make more business sense:
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