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Anti-Showrooming? What is that you might ask. And why in the world is Amazon interested in the same? Well, in order to know the answer to that question, we must first know what Showrooming is. So, Showrooming basically refers to a practice in which shoppers start comparing prices of in-store products to their online peers. Anti-showrooming is all about stopping them.

So say you visit a showroom to purchase a brand new phone. You are about to purchase it but on  sudden whim, you decide to check the price of the article online. Lo and behold! It costs only half online, as compared to what it costs here. What do you do? You walk outside, trying to appear as if you had come with the intent to buy, but did not like what was on offer.

The long and short of this is that showrooms lose revenue, and thus, they do not like the practice of showrooming. Ironically though, Amazon, which is likely to be one of the greatest beneficiaries of showrooming, has applied for a patent that would allow it to recognize someone who was showrooming and then attempt to hinder them.

By hinder, we don’t mean arm twist, and handcuffs and jail. By hinder, we mean a sales rep who is told your exact location in the store thanks to your smartphone which is connected to the store’s Wi-fi. Special deals and discounts, basically anything that would be able to keep you from walking away and inducing you to purchase whatever you came in to look at in the first place.

So this is the anti-showrooming technology, and it is really strange that Amazon of all companies applied for a patent for the same. I mean Amazon profits from showrooming. Of course, Amazon is moving into physical stores as well. Whether it is the company’s Amazon Go stores or the recently announced, $13 Billion acquisition of organic supermaket chain Whole Foods.

This also suggests that the benefits accrued by showrooming, may be more than initially thought. After all, why else would Amazon hustle to obtain a technology preventing it — unless it was planning to use it in its own stores. Or maybe it just wants to keep rivals from using it.

What do you think? How often have you showroomed? Let us know by commenting right below

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