Thursday, October 15, 2015

Showrooming or Web-rooming?

Physical retailers have been suffering at the hands of eCommere for years. The ability to browser and buy from the comfort of your own sofa (or bed) has been a growing and compelling proposition, especially compared to the madness of Christmas or sale times.

And now, thanks to in-store Internet connectivity and smartphones online shopping continues to grow at the expense of in-store retail. Consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices (mobile phones, phablets and even tablets) in stores to: get product information, check competitive prices and obtain feedback from reviews & social media contacts. They are therefore using the in-store experience to 'showroom' by looking at, touching and even experiencing a range of products only to then convert online.

However this is only part of the story, as the reverse experience is also true. In a recent PWC survey, 70% of the respondents stated that they started the purchase process online, but converted in-store.

This process, now know as “web-rooming" is a growing trend that has benefited from the factors such as:

  • a focus by retailers on an improved in-store experience 
  • better staff training, to help customers purchase rather than put them off 
  • better and immediate stock availability 

The graph below, taken from the report, outlines the specific reasons why the respondents prefer to buy products in-store instead of online:

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