Showrooming is the practice of using a smartphone while in store to shop and compare prices online. With 48 million U.S. shoppers expected to use their smartphones will shopping in store this holiday season, the practice of showrooming becomes a major concern for retailers. While big ticket items are most susceptible to showrooming, consumer electronics, apparel and footwear are expected to see the greatest influence of showrooming this holiday shopping season.
According to a report from IDC Retail Insights, showrooming engagement is expected to increase 134% this holiday season. This translates to mobile behavior influencing anywhere between $700 million and $1.7 billion in sales.
Showrooming is only expected to increase over the next several years with the practice expected to reach 59 million shoppers in 2013, 69 million shoppers in 2014, and 78 million in 2015.
Retailers must develop strategies to preempt the showrooming practice. Research shows that nearly 60% of shoppers say they are “more likely” or “much more likely” to buy what they see in store when they are assisted by a knowledgeable sales person. Mobile also plays a significant role in how retailers can retain sales. Consumers are more likely to buy from retailers who offer the advantages of full mobile websites or shopping apps, the ability to purchase in store or online, and the ability to comparison shop via QR codes.
“Things like a Web site that is optimized for a mobile phone, a smartphone app and smart QR codes – these are things that are going to save the sale for the omnichannel shopper,” according to Greg Girard, analyst with IDC Retail Insights.
Stores with strong loyalty programs, superior customer service and those that rely on everyday low prices are less likely to experience the sting of showrooming.
If your business is one of the roughly 70% without a mobile optimized website, now is the time to get one started. Don’t risk sales because you aren’t providing customers with the information they want to make a purchase. Call Qiigo at (404) 496-6841 for assistance establishing a mobile advertising program.