Showrooming is the practice where shoppers examine items during store visits, but choose to buy them online because they are cheaper there. Online retailers are in a position to offer better deals as they don’t have to bear the same operational costs as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Effectively, traditional retailers unwittingly act as showrooms for ecommerce portals.
You wish to buy new boots; you have been looking for a good design sometime now. You trawl various online marketplaces, looking for options, prices and ideas. You select a few popular brands; add them to your wish list on many of your favorite websites. You narrow down you list to three possible choices.
Now you are sure that you will buy one of the three pairs this weekend. Why weekend? Because that is when you can go to the mall of course! You can go to your favorite shop, try out a few other pairs just for fun, and finally get that coveted pair of boots too! And the trip to the mall means checking out all the new stuff, in person and even splurging a little more than you initially intended. All in all, a good day, then.
If you have done this, you will be pleased to know, you are not alone. There are many who check out products online, but end up buying at brick and mortar stores. The marketers have a new buzz word for what you are doing. They call it ‘webrooming.’
Usually, for many people all over the globe, getting ready for the holidays is a last minute affair. It was common to see people running from store to store striking items off their shopping lists. But now the same running around happens on websites, thanks to showrooming.
Showrooming is the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar retail store without purchasing it, but then shopping online to find a lower price for the same item. Many retailers have tried to compete with showroomers by slashing their own prices. Independent businesses, however, are advised to counter showrooming by adding value via included services and other tactics, such as making information and reviews more readily available to customers so that they might not choose to seek it out online.
Why is showrooming gaining popularity, though? Wouldn’t it be prudent as well as save time to directly order online? For many items this is the case. But certain items like apparels, shoes, etc, need to be seen and felt before they are purchased.
Maybe a customer is purchasing the first pair of shoes for their baby and they aren’t sure of the appropriate size. They want to try the shoes on their child. Or in other cases, they want to test the picture quality of a TV, or feel the construction of various home décor items. But when it comes to buying, price sensitivity is the biggest driver.