As more and more shoppers are constantly surfing the web on mobile devices, there has been an increase in what retailers and trade press are calling ‘showrooming’ - where consumers try an item in store and then check online to see if they can get a better deal elsewhere. A recent Retail Times article covered this very subject, warning retailers of the threat this behaviour poses. Many retailers are concerned this could undermine business, since their store may simply provide advertising for their lower-priced competition.
Many retailers are concerned showrooming could undermine business
However, research on shopping behaviour by the Clear Returns team shows that showrooming may actually benefit retailers who understand how their customers prefer to shop. One in every five returns can be traced to ‘overbuyers’, a subset of shoppers who like to buy a selection of items to try on at home, and then send the excess back, incurring a high cost to serve for the retailer.
Showrooming may actually benefit retailers who understand how their customers prefer to shop
Where overbuyers are involved, showrooming is a chance for retailers to create a win-win situation. Encouraging overbuyers to check out products and do their comparison in store saves on expensive shipping and returns. It also means these customers are happier with their final purchase. Also because of the cost to serve saved, this means retailers may even wish to offer incentives for certain showrooming shoppers to make their purchases now, rather than waiting to purchase online.