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Half of online purchases made by ‘showroomers’

8th Feb 2013
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Whilst just 6% of in-store shoppers use their mobile device to 'showroom', new research has revealed the massive impact of their behaviour on online sales.

IBM’s survey of 26,000 shoppers in 14 countries revealed that nearly half of all online retail purchases were made by ‘showroomers’ – the term used to describe customers that visit retail stores to try products but then using a mobile device to get the best price online.

Additionally, 25% of these ‘showroomers’ said they initially planned to buy in store, but were swayed by their online experience, and 65% intend to buy online for their next purchase. The figures show this trend is gathering pace and supports Foolproof’s earlier research that revealed 24% of shoppers ‘showroomed’ in the lead-up to Christmas 2012.

And this certainly appears to be having an effect on the dominance of in-store among retail channels. IBM’s study also showed that while 84% of consumers in our survey made their most recent non-grocery purchase in-store, more than a third were unsure whether their next purchase would be in store or online.

But customers still want to remain loyal to their favourite stores. According to the research, 89% of shoppers in our study were willing to contribute 20 minutes on average to help a retailer better understand their desires and provide them with more meaningful offers. In return, 55% of shoppers expect e retailers to use past purchases in order to offer relevant promotions.

This all paves the way for the rise of the omni-channel retailer, said IBM. “Ultimately retailers will only accomplish omni-channel success by tailoring and personalizing the shopping experience across all channels. They must monitor, listen closely and meaningfully respond to consumer feedback. Leading retailers will discover the powerful but subtle influencers by product category and use analytics to better market to shoppers as individuals.

“It is also the time to infuse digital experiences into the store, enable store associates with technology to save the sale and embrace consumers’ own technologies. By blending omni-channel benefits into both local shopping trips and online shopping trips, retailers will provide a shopping experience that can lead to brand loyalty and repeat sales,” concluded the report. 

You can download the full IBM retail report here


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