Recently, I addressed the trend of ecommerce showrooming–where shoppers with smart phones visit a local store to see a product up close and personal and then buy the product online instead–and how B2B ecommerce sites might consider combatting the showrooming epidemic.
Today I read an article on InternetRetailer.com about how Adidas Group is taking a completely different tactic in the battle against showrooming. In a bold move, the sporting goods manufacturer is pulling their branded products–for both the Adidas and Reebok brands–from Amazon.com and eBay.com.
The article calls out that this move helps the brand control pricing and fosters consistent product presentation across all channels. In a day and age where every consumer brand strives to emulate Apple and their premium price positioning–as well as their ultimate control of how their products are offered to the market–it makes sense that Adidas Group would want a similar arrangement. Who wouldn’t?
But here’s the question that I can’t shake: Can a brand successfully pull back from two of the largest online retail sites after the fact without it looking a lot like sour grapes? I’m not sure that they can, particularly when they have had an active presence on the site thus far.
In the InternetRetailer.com article, Scot Wingo, CEO of e-commerce services provider ChannelAdvisor Corp., asks, “eBay has 100 million active buyers and Amazon has 173 million active buyers…Can [Adidas Group] really afford in today’s climate to not have their products in front of that many potential buyers?” I have to say that I wonder the same thing and that my gut instinct is a clear “no.”
The results of the Adidas Group’s move away from Amazon and eBay remain to be seen and only time will tell how this bold move will affect their long-term sales and brand awareness. In the mean time, I suggest you make your ecommerce site the customer destination of choice as your primary defense against ecommerce showrooming.
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