The Showrooming Threat Has Been Overblown -- Here's Why

By now we know — consumers armed with smartphones like to walk into stores, look at the products they’re interested in, and then go online to find them for less money.

This phenomenon — known as showrooming — was supposed to be the death knell for bricks-and-mortar retailers.

But the showrooming threat has been overblown. In fact, the opposite behaviour is far more common than showrooming. More people go online to see what they might want to buy and then head to physical stores to actually purchase those items.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we find that retailers have finally discovered “reverse showrooming,” when consumers go online to research products, but then head to a bricks-and-mortar store to complete their purchase. And they are recognising that they can leverage this behaviour to combat the threat from e-commerce companies.

Reverse showrooming is actually nothing new. Since the early days of online shopping, more people have researched their shopping online than have actually bought there.

What has changed is that retailers have begun to identify the reverse showrooming trend and the opportunity it offers to them, and they are now working to actively capture those sales.

In the report, we examine the numbers behind showrooming and reverse showrooming, what’s driving each trend, and what the different showrooming behaviours look like. We also look at what in-store advantages retailers have, and what they are doing both to capture in-store sales from reverse showroomers and to drive up purchases across channels.

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Here are some of the key points from the report:

The report is full of charts and data that can be downloaded and put to use.

In full, the report:

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

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