Bricks-And-Mortar Retailers Are Chasing Millennial 'Reverse Showroomers'

Showrooming was once seen as an existential threat to bricks-and-mortar retailers, but it turns out the reverse dynamic is more popular.Reverse showrooming, where people browse online but buy in stores, is actually more common than showrooming. In the U.S., 69% of people have reverse showroomed, while only 46% have showroomed, according to a Harris poll.

Another myth around showrooming is that young people love to do it. In a recent report from BI Intelligence we look at the data and find that millennials actually prefer to reverse showroom. For electronics, shoes, sports equipment, and cosmetics, more millennials say they prefer to reverse showroom, rather than research in store and then buy online.

We look at the numbers behind showrooming and reverse showrooming, what’s driving each trend, and what the different showrooming behaviours look like.

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Here’s the data on reverse showrooming and millennials:

  • Only 20% of respondents between 18 and 35 years old said they preferred to make clothing purchases online, according to a study from the Urban Land Institute.
  • The remainder cited various offline retail locations as their preferred way to shop for clothes — 12% specifically cited reverse showrooming as their preferred way to shop, saying they ideally do research online first and then buy in person.
  • For electronics, the skew to reverse showrooming was especially strong among millennials, with 50% saying they research online and then buy in store.

Here are some of the key ways bricks-and-mortar retailers are leveraging their advantages to drive more reverse showrooming.

In full, the report:

For full access to the report on reverse showrooming, and all of BI Intelligence’s charts and analysis sign up for a free trial subscription today.

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