Brick and mortar stores have alot of competition with the internet. Who doesn't go shopping only to go online and find out who has the size and the price that we want..we are savvy consumers, aren't we? Well along comes this Brisbane, Australia store, which are taking extreme measures. The store is now charging people a $5 “just looking” fee in the hopes of deterring them from using the store as a physical showroom, and then running off to buy the same products online. If the customer ends up buying something, the $5 fee is waived.
Many business owners, from companies as large as Best Buy to small businesses like this one, can surely relate to the frustrations of seeing people use their store as a testing ground. But on the other hand, if you have competitive prices and hard-to-find products, do you really need to be charging a $5-a-head browsing fee? Brick and mortar stores face a lot of challenges in competing with the Internet. We're living in an age where you can get just about anything you want from somewhere on the web, and even better you can easily browse multiple sellers, and find the best price. It's been a great thing for consumers, but not for all businesses. To complicate things even further for brick and mortars, the rise of smartphones has made it easy for consumers to walk into a store, browse the inventory, and comparison shop right from within. Stores risk losing customers to competitors before they've even left the store.
Even though I can feel the pain of the brick and mortar stores,(what will happen to all the stores,)is it smart for businesses to charge customers for browsing without buying? Let us know what you think in the comments.