Turns out, “showrooming” isn’t as threatening as many may have initially feared, according to results from the latest eCustomerServiceIndex from IMRG and eDigitalResearch as 47 percent of shoppers usually just read product reviews while in-store, 39 percent of shoppers price-check and 33 percent order items that are out of stock.
Smartphone shopping plays a huge role in retail today, which is why it’s no surprise that “showrooming,” the practice of visiting a shop in order to examine a product before buying it online at a lower price, has become widely popular for shoppers everywhere.
Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer of IMRG, said that showrooming has been around since the early days of e-commerce. She said in the past year, click and collect sales for multichannel retailers rose to almost 19 percent in online sales in the U.K.
“The evolution of the mobile consumer over the past few years has undoubtedly created a new breed of customer,” she said. “Our Quarterly Benchmarking data reveals that sales via smartphones and tablet devices now account for 27 percent of the U.K. online retail market, having doubled over the past year.”
Furthermore, eCSI results emphasize that 46 percent of smartphone shoppers who have made a purchase via their mobile device, choose a click and collect delivery option, which implies an increase in consumer device use outside of the home, as spontaneous purchases are being made while out and about, and then are collected on the go.
Derek Eccleston, commerical director at eDigitalReseach, said the results of the survey were important to understanding why people may not have to question how threatening the showrooming trend may be to retailers.
“Just 18 months ago, retailers were debating the risks involved with a growing ‘showrooming’ trend amongst consumers, worried that the introduction of price comparison in-store would affect bottom line,” he said. “This is a trend that is here to stay- retailers now need to ensure that their in-store experience is also mobile optimized with simple steps such as offering free WiFi, making sure their entire customer experience is as good as it possibly can be.”
The latest findings reveal that the relationship between store and mobile channels are constantly growing, with smartphone ownership in the United Kingdom standing at 70 percent, representing over two-thirds of consumers who bring their mobile devices into stores. One in five smartphone owners surveyed, claim to have purchased a product via mobile if they considered long queue times in the store to be too long.
“It is clear that mobile has a key part to play in the multichannel retail environment,” Spooner said. “With the growth in sales via smartphones continuing into triple digits percentage-wise, the increasing power of m-retail should not be ignored.”