This is the practice of visiting brick-and-mortar retail stores to research products before purchasing them online for a lower price. Essentially, the store acts as a showroom for online shoppers. The improvement in smartphone technology and eCommerce capabilities have led to a rise in showrooming.
According to KPMG, 81% of customers do online research before committing to a purchase. They commonly look at price comparisons to find the cheapest deal and read reviews to assess product quality and credibility. Given the effects of the pandemic and the rapid increase in eCommerce shopping, it’s unsurprising that store-based retailing has moved beyond its zenith.
This, of course, leaves brick-and-mortar stores in the lurch. Those that don’t undergo digital transformation will bear insufferable and unnecessary economic decline. Larger retailers may still have the budget to kowtow consumer demands, but smaller retailers will suffer. All is not lost, though. Showrooming stats indicate that 47% of shoppers are still reluctant to pay shipping fees, which is where webrooming comes in.
Also called reverse showrooming, webrooming is when customers first research a product online and then visit the physical store. 46% of customers say that they would still prefer to shop in person if given a choice. Retailers have combated the most severe effects of showrooming through a variety of webrooming tactics.
At the solution, forefront is the need to engage customers with excellent service and offer incentives.
Another way to optimize webrooming is to switch to multichannel sales strategies. Have a presence on Amazon, social media, and other eCommerce platforms, if not your own. This multi-pronged sales approach enables customers to make purchases through different avenues while boosting their chances of selling.
Other tactics that appeal to customers include click and collect options for those who don’t want to pay a delivery fee and smartphone discounts, encouraging shoppers to purchase in-store. Gen-Z customers love experiences, so when the above is combined with a great in-store experience, they are more likely to return to the physical store.
Improvements in technology have made modern life convenient and consumers more tech-savvy, shifting their buying habits. It’s now possible to order almost everything online without leaving home. The primary driver of showrooming is to inspect product quality before buying. Lower prices and free shipping motivate this commonplace trend, particularly for consumers purchasing clothing, furniture, and appliances. Webrooming is the best, if not the only, way to combat this phenomenon.
Showrooming has given rise to the smart shopper. Traditionally, the smart shopper felt satisfaction and pride in paying a low price for a high-quality product. They learned of deals through offline catalogs and promotional brochures.
Now, with the over-saturation of online content, consumers can make extensive comparisons. So instead of feeling “smart” for acquiring a product at a low price, their intelligence is valorized by the time and effort taken to use a discount bargain code.
Today’s smart shoppers feel this way because they perceive their online searches save them time and money. The self-perception of the consumer matters because it shapes customer experience management, particularly when addressing the challenges of showrooming with webrooming.
For brick-and-mortar retailers, this means that webrooming experiences are more profitable when they positively impact consumers.
Webrooming will have a stronger positive impact on consumers’ perceptions of time/effort savings than showrooming.
When prospective customers enter your store, you must provide them with confidence that a product best matches their needs. Enhance their product knowledge by sharing valuable information to increase their perceived control over their buying choice and highlight how they will save money. When it comes to webrooming, a basic understanding of behavioral economics in the context of retail consumption can skyrocket your sales.
While it’s impossible to control the ever-changing effects of technology on consumerism, those that are potentially negative, like showrooming, can be mitigated through adaptability. At Comrade Digital Marketing, we have helped many clients improve their web presence by developing their eCommerce website and digital marketing strategy. Please find out how we can help you mitigate showrooming here.
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