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Showrooming: A New Threat To Brick-and-Mortar Retailers (Infographic)

Thumbnail of LS Retail Inforgraphic: Showrooming: Threat or OpportunityIf you’re a retailer with a brick-and-mortar presence, you’re probably familiar with this scenario: a customer walks into your store, tries something on or tests something or compares two items (the list goes on), obviously finds an item they like, but then leaves without purchasing it. You know what they’re up to: They’re headed back to their computer or tablet or phone to check to see if they can get a better price online. Most consumers today engage in this practice at least some of the time, and it could be hurting brick-and-mortar retailers.

Believe it or not, this practice has a name. It’s called “showrooming,” and it has recently been getting a lot of attention on the internet because of its threat to retailers. In short, “showrooming” is when customers come to a brick-and-mortar store to look, touch, smell, or try on items for free, but then buy the same item at a lower price online. Retailers worldwide agree that this practice is increasingly becoming a major threat to the survival of brick-and-mortar environments. If you are a retailer, it is important to understand how to survive and thrive this consumer behavioral change so you do not become a free showroom for consumers that are not interested in buying products at your store.

Another Trend that Could Reduce the Threat of Showrooming

There is a silver lining, however. According to LS Retail and other sources, showrooming may not pose as much of a threat to retailers because of another consumer behavior change called “webrooming.” Webrooming is similar to showrooming, but rather than the consumer buying online, the consumer first looks at products online, then comes to a physical retail location to look, touch, smell, and try on items and then buy the item in the store. This practice is especially popular with the millennials and the younger generations (ages 18-29), who indicated in the Gallup poll that they prefer purchasing in brick-and-mortar stores even with the increase in online resources.

In summary, showrooming and webrooming are consumer behaviors that are here to stay and should be taken seriously by retailers. By having a strong retail strategy, retailers can easily adapt to consumer needs and stay competitive. This infographic provides more insights into consumer behavior.