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Will Webrooming Cancel Showrooming?

By Maura Mitchell

During the holiday season last year, everyone was talking about showrooming: consumers going to brick and mortar stores to check out products and then buying them online.

This year, the hot new topic is webrooming. It’s defined as Americans researching items at online stores and then buying them in physical outlets.

According to Accenture, the two behaviors will be almost equally popular this holiday season with 63% of shoppers saying they will showroom and 65% planning to webroom.

Consumers have a variety of reasons for webrooming. The top three are to avoid shipping charges, needing to see and feel a product before buying it, and wanting to be able to return the item to a physical store, if necessary.

Shoppers’ primary motivation for showrooming is to find lower prices. Most consumers use their smartphone to do real-time price comparisons in-store. However, very few shoppers actually buy the product with their mobile while at a retail outlet. The vast majority return home to make the purchase on their PC.

Americans also plan to use other savvy shopping strategies this holiday season. 45% intend to take advantage of retailers’ competitive price matching programs and 36% anticipate purchasing items online for pick-up in store.

What are the implications for your business?
  • If you are a physical store, are you overreacting to the threat of showrooming?
  • If you are an online retailer, are you thinking about ways to discourage webrooming?
  • If you are a manufacturer, are you doing your best to help both channels manage their challenges?
If you would like to keep up-to-speed with how consumers use social media, technology and the Internet, check out The Digital American 2013. Click here for a free sample.

For help developing powerful marketing strategies that drive results, strategic plans that deliver  growth,  or  new  products  that  consumers  love, contact Brandology at 925-417-2253 or
Sources: Accenture 2013, MediaPost 2013

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