With the rise of ecommerce, brands initially took a look at
the other edge of the technology sword and declared that “showrooming” was the
new enemy. Showrooming is the idea that shoppers visit brick-and-mortar stores
to check out their potential purchases before returning home to make the final
purchases online after comparing prices.
But there’s actually an even more technologically advanced
version of shopping that’s something retailers can embrace. Shopping studies
show that it’s actually “webrooming” that’s on the rise and leads to bigger
overall purchases. Webrooming is the reverse of showrooming – when shoppers
conduct their information-gathering prior to going to a store. Consumers
compare prices online, finalize their lists, and then head to stores in order
to make final purchases.
Survey results from The Harris
indicated that roughly half of Americans have showroomed,
while roughly seven in ten Americans saying they’ve webroomed. Not only that,
but showroomers spent an average of $156.40 (a steady decline from 2013 and
2012 numbers – $174 and $211.80 respectively), while webroomers clock in with
receipts averaging $200.70 for in-store purchases after researching online. To
put it plainly: shoppers who engage online spend more in stores.
The upside for retailers is the ability to embrace the
research phase by utilizing integrated outreach and personalized
communications. Preference management – the active collection, maintenance and
distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest,
communication channel preference and frequency of communication – can pre-empt
shopping decisions and help customers in the midst of their holiday hustle and
When you can synthesize data provided by customers
themselves, you already have a leg up on their potential shopping list. Product
interest and communication channel preference are vital in heading consumers
off at the pass and handing them an effective, personalized tool.
Unprepared brands may be wringing their hands over
webrooming, but companies that have already adapted to modern shoppers’ habits
by utilizing preference management techniques are clearly experiencing growing
returns. How did your past years reflect consumers’ newer shopping habits and
how will this year compare?
Labels: communication channels, Online shopping, preference management, showrooming, webrooming