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“Show-rooming” vs. “Web-rooming”

showrooming-2Many people in the retail sector have recently become aware of – and worried about – the trend known as “Show-rooming“. This is when a consumer comes to a retail location to look at and try a product before later purchasing the same product online.

Now a new trend has been identified – “Web-rooming”. This is the exact opposite of show-rooming, and in fact appears to be more popular.

This infographic explains the phenomenon, and suggests the best ways for retailers to take advantage of this situation.


According to AdWeek, “Showrooming describes consumers who price shop online after visiting physical stores. Webrooming refers to the process of researching products online and then visiting a store to make a purchase.”

A recent study from Merchant Warehouse, in the 18 to 36 year-old demographic, 50 percent of smartphone owners have actively show-roomed. However, a much larger percentage, 69%, have web-roomed.

This can have serious implications for retailers. For example, price matching is a growing service offered by retailers, and over 1/3 of smartphone owners report that they have requested this. In addition, easy returns and the ability to touch and try the product are other strengths that saavy retailers can capitalize on.

Brick-and-mortar retailers can capitalize on this growing trend by focusing on what motivates consumers to choose webrooming in the first place. When shoppers were asked why they would search for items online prior to making a store purchase, the responses varied. Approximately 47 percent wanted to avoid shipping costs, 23 percent didn’t want to wait for delivery of the items, and 42 percent wanted to check product availability.

Chris Wuhrer, SVP of strategic initiatives and product marketing at Merchant Warehouse, believes that more stores will take the lead of Best Buy and Sears in creating apps that will allow shoppers to price compare in stores, and then beat any prices that are better than their own. On the other hand, “some consumers are less price sensitive and they’ll pay more when they can return [merchandise locally], particularly high-priced items and apparel.”


showrooming-3


[click image to enlarge]

[original source: Merchant Warehouse]


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