Stores finding innovative ways to bridge online-offline service gap

Retailers are currently struggling to develop strategies that can keep customers from going online to make purchases.

Retailers are currently struggling to develop strategies that can keep customers from going online to make purchases. Consumers have discovered they can visit a physical store and experience merchandise firsthand, then go online to find the same items for lower prices.

Some companies are tackling the showrooming problem by bringing innovative technologies into physical stores. This essentially brings the online experience offline, giving customers the same access to real-time information and price comparison while they are shopping. New Balance recently opened an "experience" store that features digital technology elements, a live manufacturing feed and RFID technology, reports Retail Customer Experience.

A bike store in Fort Collins, Colorado, has developed a similar strategy with its build-a-bike kiosk, the source reports. Big Shot Bikes is an ecommerce retailer that sells customizable single-speed bikes online. The company realized there was a service gap when customers continued going to physical bike shops to get fitted and then went home to order the product.

Operations manager Ryan Clark said the move is bridging the brick-and-mortar vs. ecommerce gap, which was a huge problem for the company. Even if the kiosks don't yield huge sales, he told the source he hopes it will inspire customer satisfaction and loyalty to keep clients coming back.