Webrooming Facts That Power More Sales

 In Ecommerce, Spotlight

There’s no doubt about it: consumer shopping behavior has undergone a significant shift recently.

Just a few years ago, you’d head to a nearby brick-and-mortar store if you needed some new jeans or a throw pillow.

Today, though, shopping is becoming increasingly digital. Mobile phones currently play a massive role in the shopping experience, and more and more consumers are turning to them for guidance and assistance as they seek out the products they need.

According to Google, about 82% of smartphone users turn to their phones for help with buying decisions- from researching making an actual purchase.

This is a massive number, and it has several major implications for ecommerce professionals. One of the most important things the digital shopping revolution does, though, is shine a light on the concepts of webrooming and showrooming.

Two important ecommerce strategies, webrooming and showrooming have direct impacts on mobile use and shopping.

Here’s what you need to know.

Webrooming and Showrooming 101

First things first, let’s define some terms.

Showrooming is what happens when a customer visits a brick and mortar store to research a product. They want to touch it, feel it, and figure out how it fits or functions. If the customer likes the product, they’ll go online to purchase it.

This means that brick-and-mortar stores essentially become showrooms for online retailers. An effective way to get a good deal, showrooming has become a widespread habit among cost-conscious buyers, like Millennials.

According to a 2015 IAB Digital Shopping Report, about 50% of U.S. adults practice showrooming in some form or another, although consumers ages 18-34 are most likely to purchase from another retailer.

Webrooming is the reverse of showrooming. During webrooming, customers research products online and then head out to brick-and-mortar stores to purchase them. While this can be a big negative for online retailers, it’s a valuable opportunity for physical store owners, and for any company that takes advantage of multi-channel commerce.

Right now, about 70% of shoppers research products online and purchase them in-store.

Impact of Webrooming and Showrooming

Today, webrooming and showrooming are both essential aspects of the shopping experience.  Taken together, they create the foundation of omnichannel retail. If ecommerce companies want to keep up, they’ve got to understand how to make the most of omnichannel selling.

Right now, webrooming and showrooming prove that brick-and-mortar retailers are still essential, but that people want the hot prices made possible by ecommerce. While consumers crave the tactical and physical in-store experience, they’re not always willing to pay more for it.

If you want to nab these channel-hopping customers, you’ve got to figure out how to provide them a “both, and” experience that wins their loyalty and keeps them coming back for more.

Webrooming Facts All Retailers Should Know

Looking for some hard and fast facts about webrooming? Here are a few to consider:

  1. 88% of internet users report using webrooming regularly. These customers research products online and then purchase them in a physical store. Meanwhile, 76% of consumers report using showrooming on a regular basis.
  2. 69% of smartphone users ages 18-36 are webrooming. These customers want to find the lowest price and have the ability to compare products and offerings. Webrooming is even more common among smartphone users ages 37-48, 71% of whom are webrooming.
  3. Forrest reports that more than $1.8 billion in online retail sales came from webrooming in 2017. This number is only projected to rise in coming years, so it’s important to hop on board with this trend right now.
  4. Customers prefer webrooming over showrooming. There are many reasons for this. 47% of customers don’t want to pay for shipping, 23% don’t want to wait for product delivery, and a whopping 46% just want to go to a store to touch and feel the product.
  5. 68% of consumers have browsed items at a store, then decided to buy them online. This illustrates just how vital webrooming has become to consumers, and what a critical role it plays in the ecommerce environment.

How to Make Webrooming Work for You

If webrooming and showrooming are here to stay, the question to ask is how you can make them work for your business. Here are a few tips to take advantage of changing consumer behavior and ensure it continues to boost your bottom line!

1. Take Advantage of Multichannel Marketing

When webrooming and showrooming work well together, it demonstrates the power of cross-channel commerce. With this in mind, you need to offer a cohesive customer experience that encourages your customers to interact with your brand both on- and offline.

While customers like to research products online, it’s essential to remember that about 50% of them still prefer to make their purchases in-store. Because of this, retailers that have two shopping marketplaces generate about 190% more revenue than those with a single platform.

2. Keep Providing Outstanding Incentive

Part of the reason customers love shopping in-store is the human interaction aspect of it.

If they want to keep growing, ecommerce retailers must continue to provide great service. While ecommerce companies sometimes overlook customer service, 71% of customers have ended a relationship with a company due to poor customer service. As if that weren’t bad enough, the cost to replace the average consumer is about $243.

With this in mind, take active efforts to increase interaction between consumers and sales staff and ensure your shoppers have what they need. Returns and exchanges should be simple, and the shopping experience should be as streamlined as possible.

3. Engage Socially

Since so many customers are already using their mobile phones to shop, retailers can create a better experience by taking advantage of the mobile platform.

Ask customers to like your Facebook page, share your hashtags on Instagram, or participate through ecoupons, online giveaways, and contests.  By doing this, you can knit together the seemingly disparate worlds of webrooming and showrooming and

The Modern Case for Webrooming

Webrooming and showrooming are here to stay. Luckily, that has the potential to be great news for ecommerce retailers. When used correctly, webrooming can be a huge perk for ecommerce companies, and can open the door to successful (and lucrative) multi-channel selling! Need even more statistics on webrooming and showrooming? Here’s an infographic we created to help you out.

As we near closer to the holiday rush, scrupulous online shoppers will use webrooming and showrooming to find the best deals. Here's what you need to know.

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