There's no doubt that Target takes showrooming seriously.
Back in January 2012, the chain's management sent a letter to suppliers asking them to work with the retailer to create exclusive items that couldn't be directly compared by price.
This past January, the retailer announced it would price match against competitors, including Amazon.com, all year round.
While some of chain's past efforts could be seen as defensive, an article written by Casey Carl, president of multichannel at Target, on A Bullseye View, gives the clear impression the company sees opportunities to take it to the competition and showrooming is key.
Mr. Carl described showrooming as "the greatest opportunity for retailers" and stressed the need for companies such as Target "play to our strengths and seize the upper hand by enhancing both our physical stores and digital channels."
Mobile is high on Mr. Carl's priority list. He cited Deloitte research that showed the buying power of smartphone owners who use their devices while shopping in stores.
He also wrote Target was intent on "seamlessly integrating the physical and digital worlds—from products to price matching to personalized offers—to exponentially improve the guest experience." He pointed to steps such as making free WiFi available in stores and the company's Cartwheel savings program as examples of steps it has taken to integrate the physical and digital.
Mr. Carl acknowledged Target was still in the early stages of its work, but that it was continually focused on testing new concepts including a store and online initiative called "Baby 360."
Because new moms spend more time researching purchases online than the general population, Target has partnered with BabyCenter, a parenting resource, to provide its customers with "content, product reviews and recommendations" on its website and through its mobile app.
Target is also testing redesigned baby departments in stores in Chicagoland. The areas have products on display for consumers to interact with and there's a "Baby Advisor" service desk to help Target's guests get answers to their questions.
Is showrooming more of an opportunity or threat to retailers that operate stores?