Showrooming causes a particularly acute problem for small business owners. Their very existence is at stake: Just last weekend, Harley walked by a small bookstore in Concord, Mass., and saw a sign in the window that said, “If you see it here, buy it here, to keep us here.”
Harley Manning suggests a better way to compete: Focus on delivering a superior customer experience. As a local business owner, you have the chance to know your customers better than any website can know them — even the increasingly sophisticated websites that make recommendations based on past behavior. If you develop that understanding and marry it with expertise about the products or services you offer, you’ll have a winning combination.