Some 69% of shoppers with smartphones ages 18 to 36 and 71% ages 37 to 48 have “webroomed” — researched products online before buying in the store. That’s compared to 50% and 53% for shoppers those ages who have “showroomed” — price-compared and bought products online after finding them in the store, according to a report by payment solutions and customer service company Merchant Warehouse.
Of those who have webroomed, 47% say they don’t want to pay for shipping, 42% check for product availability before going to the store, and 23% don’t want to wait for delivery, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst Sucharita Mulpuru says her firm has found that webrooming will garner retailers $1.8 trillion in sales by 2017, up from $1.2 trillion two years ago, but that showrooming remains “a flight risk and a bigger problem for retailers.”
Many young shoppers are going online to begin their in-store purchases (“webrooming”), proving that physical stores remain important retail channels. The trick is to make this shopping easier for them by providing the information, pathways, and loyalty program features on retail websites that encourage people to complete their purchase at the venue of their choice, whether online or at the nearest store.
To combat showrooming, the only real weapon is to price-match or provide other enticements that will lead shoppers to buy at your retailer, and not someone else's, after their research is done.