Webrooming versus showrooming: how can retailers cater to both types of shoppers?
Webrooming. Showrooming. In order to tackle these two modern shopping methods, we need to define them first.
- Webrooming: The act of researching a product online then purchasing it in-store.
- Showrooming: The act of searching for something in-store and then purchasing online.
With these two definitions in mind, you may have some questions as to how retailers can better serve both customer types. Fortunately, we’ve got a few tips.
Having already made up their mind in most cases, webrooming customers are typically looking for instant gratification by the time they enter your store. While this can be frustrating for salespeople, keep in mind that with an informed customer you don’t have to start from scratch.
Additionally, since they’ve already decided on their purchase, you can offer them added benefits they may not have found online—such as extended warranties. Webrooming consumers were projected to generate $1.8 trillion in sales in 2017, so it’s clear that these hyper-informed consumers are on the rise. An offer like warranty protection can show you’re looking out for their best interest and can generate trust not easily found online.
Like webroomers, showroomers are looking to digital to give them a leg up. But unlike webroomers, showrooming customers want an in-person, sensory experience with the product before purchasing it online—potentially at a discount.
How can retailers meet the needs of this type of shopper? One way is to set up in-store displays and direct your sales team to walk customers through these displays, allowing them to interact with the products first-hand. For example, Bonobos works with customers in-store to find the perfect outfit using their ‘Guideshops’. But, in an effort to meet showroomers where they’re most comfortable, the retailers also allow customers to make their final purchase decisions online, avoiding the need to walk out with multiple bags.
Restoration Hardware takes the showrooming experience a step further encouraging customers to bring in photos, blueprints, and a wish list to work one-on-one with designers to build a picture-perfect room. Once they return to the comfort of their own home—and computer screen—customers can pick and choose what they want based on their in-store design experience.
Showroomers and webroomers are controlling the retail shopping experience more and more—and there’s been some crossover. 60 percent of webroomers have showroomed, while 90 percent of showroomers have webroomed, making it increasingly clear that retailers need to understand how their customers utilize digital tools to make buying decisions.
How else can you cater to these shoppers? Check out our three tips for selling to the informed customer.
Fortegra® is the marketing name for the extended warranty operations of Fortegra Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries.