The opposite of showrooming
We often find something in a store and fall in love, but with the Internet, many times we second guess it because it can be cheaper to buy things online; this process is called “showrooming.” So, what happens if you do the opposite?
If you see something online, but do not want to wait for it to be shipped, or perhaps it is actually cheaper in the store, is there a term for this reversed process? One marketing firm is calling it “webrooming.”
While this term may not stick, it is an amusing novelty. The marketing firm, Interactions, performed a study that showed 76 percent of shoppers have recently tried showrooming, but an astounding 88 percent of shoppers have engaged in webrooming. An Interaction executive explained why this is relevant to retailers: “Consumers expect retailers to be everywhere they are,” said Giovanni DeMeo, Vice President of Global Marketing and Analytics at Interactions. “If retailers are not leveraging omnichannel marketing approaches, or not embracing the concept of ‘Everywhere Commerce,’ they risk an inconsistent customer experience, potentially reduced profits and diminished brand loyalty.”
Consumer expectations have changed
In other words, if you do not have both online and brick-and-mortar presences, your retail business could suffer. Customers expect to be able to shop either way, more now, than ever before. If the transition from website to in-store shopping is anything less than seamless, brands risk “reduced profits and diminished brand loyalty” according to DeMeo.
The study found 71 percent of customers prefer the experience of researching online versus 68 percent who prefer to experience the product and research in-store. A somewhat shocking 41 percent of people prefer to seek help from an in-store associate during their research process. So, no one avenue seems to be largely preferred.
The take away: consumers are doing research before buying products, as they always have, but the Internet gives them a new way to do this; by insuring that your in-store and online presences are virtually seamless, you will help to drive and retain brand loyalty, as well as customer satisfaction.