, ,

Article 5In our last newsletter (see “Reverse Showrooming: Bricks-and-Mortar Retailers Are Fighting Back Against Amazon And Others”), we noted the rise of a reverse showrooming trend, such that instead of gathering expensive in-store advice and expertise, then buying through less expensive online channels, shoppers actually were doing the opposite. That is, consumers gather a wealth of information online, then visit brick-and-mortar retailers to make their purchase.

New surveys reinforce this claim and propose a different term to describe such reverse showrooming: Web-rooming. In a 60-country Nielsen survey of approximately 30,000 consumers, 51 percent admitted that they examined products in stores, then bought online. But 60 percent of them indicated the reverse pattern, such that they browsed online, then bought in physical stores.

The other survey, by Accenture, focused on U.S. consumers, 88 percent of whom said they engaged in Web-rooming by gathering information online before buying in stores. In contrast, 73 percent sought information from stores before buying online. In more general terms, the Merchant Warehouse consultancy revealed its findings that more consumers engaged in Web-rooming than in showrooming.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are web-rooming and showrooming?
  2. Which is more popular with consumers?
  3. How can retailers use this information?


Source: Sarah Halzack, Washington Post, September 3, 2014