is dedicated to
|Each year about 15%
of all lighting purchases are made online.
Most of these purchases are made through a handful of websites that have grown to dominate internet lighting sales. Many of these sales transactions are encouraged and facilitated by vendor websites which have direct links allowing shoppers to easily buy from these e-commerce sites. This partnership between lighting manufacturers and e-commerce sites, leaves the brick and mortar showroom out to dry.
It is understandable that lighting vendors and manufactures want a piece of the e-commerce pie. Unfortunately, in their pursuit of that piece of the pie, traditional lighting showrooms are being left with just the crumbs. It is hard enough for a traditional lighting showroom to thrive without its vendors directing consumer sales to e-commerce sites owned by companies like Lowe's.
In years past, lighting showrooms have been concerned that e-commerce sites were willing and able to sell lighting at margins lower than they can. With the acceptance and enforcement of IMAP (Internet Minimum Advertised Price) over the past few years, this concern is no longer valid. In fact, most major lighting vendors have an IMAP policy which guarantees that online prices will be about the same as those found in brick and mortar lighting showrooms.
Today's concern is the fact that lighting vendors are sending customers directly from their company websites to e-commerce sites and bypassing brick and mortar lighting stores.
Here's the rub:
Some customers are using brick and mortar showrooms as selection centers, then go online to make their purchase.
Manufactures' websites promote this behavior by directing customers to e-commerce sites, and bypassing the brick and mortar showrooms.
Local lighting sales reps are loosing commission, brick and mortar showrooms are losing as much as 15% of their sales revenue, and communities are loosing employment and tax benefits from local retail sales.
Manufactures should remove any links from their company websites that encourage customers to "buy online".
Manufactures should stop drop-shipping to areas outside a distributor's market place.
What can you do?
lighting manufactures are directing online purchases through a hand full
of e-commerce sites.
To see if your favorite lighting manufacture's website directs sales away from your store, go to their official vendor website then, a) search or click on a specific item or item number, b) get to the detail page on that item and, c) look for a link that says "buy online" and click it.