A recent report from BI Intelligence has found that retailers have discovered “reverse showrooming,” or “webrooming,” where consumers research products online, but then head to a brick-and-mortar store to make their purchase. In the U.S., 69% of people reverse showroom, while 46% showroom, according to a Harris poll. And it’s not just the younger consumers, millennials are also reverse showrooming for everything ranging from electronics, shoes, sports equipment to cosmetics.
Chain Store Age reported that almost one-in-three (31%) of U.S. consumers say wanting to see/feel items in person would make them shop at a physical store instead of online. And while this survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers noted different reasons for consumers opting to make in-person purchases, (29.9% wanted items immediately, 16.9% believe it protects their privacy, 14.4% shop in-store to save on shipping costs and 6.5% want to ensure easier/cheaper returns) retailers need to capitalize on this trend.
The BI report goes on to say that only recently have traditional retailers begun to take advantage of the opportunity that reverse showrooming extends – making sure they have knowledgeable sales staff, in-store pick-up of online orders, in-store Wi-Fi, and smartphone discounts to help convert showroomers to buy in-store. They’re also using new technologies for a better, more connected in-store experience.
This is a trend we at Tensator have definitely seen on the rise – with shopping centers and brands leveraging the Tensator Virtual Assistant next generation digital signage solution to engage, inform and entertain shoppers while also offering them promotions and discounts:
Equally important is having customers be able to help themselves with self-service solutions and have a smooth checkout process – from virtual queuing, call forward queue management to tablet armed staff who can address customer preferences with an inline greeter solution.
As noted in the report — retailers are beginning to think of themselves less as purveyors of goods, and more as all-around consumer resources. Talk to a Tensator customer journey expert to learn more about how we can help you maximize reverse showrooming.