How to Prime Your Online Store for Holiday Webroomers
The holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and customers are gearing up for online shopping and browsing in the months to come. As an online retailer, you’re likely wondering how best to prepare for these holiday shoppers.
As it turns out, one of the most important things you can do is take steps to prepare your online store for holiday webroomers.
Webrooming, or the practice of shopping online and ultimately buying in-store, is increasingly prevalent and allows customers to research a product extensively before they drop in. Recent webrooming statistics are astounding today, and enough to knock most retailers on their behinds.
If you’re not prepared for holiday webroomers, you put yourself at risk of missing out on a great deal of traffic and sales. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be your reality.
Here’s your guide to webrooming the right way this holiday season.
Webrooming vs. Showrooming
In the ecommerce environment right now, people either webroom or they showroom. The question for retailers, though, often becomes “what’s the difference?”
Here’s a breakdown of each shopping habit and how they can affect your store:
- Webroomers browse online and purchase in-store
- These customers want the benefit of actually feeling and touching a product before they decide to buy it
- Webroomers is most popular for appliances, electronics, and apparel
- Millennials tend to shop online when they’re seeking information, checking prices, or looking for more information about a product, good, or service
- Showrooming is the practice of browsing in a store and buying online
- It’s popular among consumers who want to find lower prices and exclusive online promotions
- It’s most common with electronics, entertainment, and toys and games
- Today, 84% of customers check Amazon before they purchase anything elsewhere
Who’s Webrooming Anyways?
Now that you know what webrooming is, how many customers actually do it during the holiday shopping season? The answer might surprise you: according to recent surveys, 69% of consumers plan to shop between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday via webrooming. Compare that to the 46% of shoppers who intend to showroom, and you’ll see how popular showrooming has become!
The number of customers who webroom during the holidays has grown in recent years, thanks in large part to the fact that customers are now highly comfortable shopping online. In addition to that fact, many physical stores are now offering options for customers to shop online and pick up items in the store.
This is a significant boon for the customers who shop online during the holiday season: now they can access all the deals and discounts inherent in online shopping, but have the benefit of interacting with the product in real life, as well.
Finally, webrooming allows customers to take part in one significant tradition of holiday shopping: participating in the in-store environment and feeling the rush that comes from that.
Want to learn more about webrooming? Check out the infographic we recently created on the topic:
How to Prepare for Holiday Webrooming
Webrooming is booming. Here’s how to make sure your company doesn’t miss out on all the great holiday webrooming to be had today:
1. Make Online & In-Store Shipping Seamless
Because showrooming includes a transition between online and in-store shopping, it’s essential to make this transition as easy as possible for your customers. Offering a “shop online, pick up in-store” option is one of the best ways to do this. This encourages webrooming while also ensuring you don’t miss out on the eventual sale.
If you can’t provide this option, make sure that you’re offering as much information as possible on your website. This includes details about your products and ample information about where customers can find your physical business. The more information you can provide about your business and products, the easier the conversion process will be for customers.
2. Use Google MyBusiness
Google MyBusiness listings and local inventory ads are two excellent ways to make the most of webrooming this holiday season. In addition to helping boost your site’s SEO value, claiming these listings also allows you to obtain future ratings and reviews and provide up-to-the-minute information to your customers.
3. Offer Outstanding Customer Service
The holiday shopping season moves quickly, and it’s essential to provide personalized service and incentives throughout.
Simple things, like member rewards programs, multiple delivery options, and customer service delivered in the online environment through social media and chatbots can go a long way toward helping your company stand out from the rest and ensuring customers won’t find a reason to leave during the high-volume holiday shopping period.
4. Ask for Customer Reviews
Again, the holiday season moves quickly, and you can’t afford not to pay attention. With this in mind, encourage customers to review the in-store experience and pay attention when they do.
If you’re noticing recurring pain points or sticking issues, resolve them quickly, so you don’t lose holiday webroomers. Be sure also to offer rewards for store engagement to encourage people to convert fully.
5. Offer a Price-Match Guarantee
One of the reasons that people webroom so frequently nowadays is to find the best price out there. Even if your store offers competitive pricing (and it should), consider offering a price match guarantee.
Recent research and webrooming statistics have found that offering a price-match guarantee is one of the best ways to trump your competition and encourage follow-up sales. Remember that 75% of customers say they webroom to find the lowest price and 72% are comparing products. Offering a price-match guarantee is a great way to get these people engaged and keep them coming back to your store.
Facts About Webrooming
This holiday season, a large percentage of shoppers will webroom when shopping online for holiday gifts. They do this to get the best price and to see what other stores are offering for the same products. While webrooming can cause you to lose sales to physical stores, these five tips will help you prepare your online presence to attract, capture, and convert all those spend-ready holiday webroomers.
Need even more info? We’ve got you covered with this infographic about 2018 webrooming statistics. Use it to prepare your online store for the holiday shopping rush.