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IDC: ‘Showrooming’ will influence $1.7bn in 2012 Christmas shopping

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16th Nov 2012
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An estimated 20% of the US adult population – 48m shoppers – is expected to ‘showroom’ or use their smartphones whilst shopping in-store this festive season.

‘Showrooming’, the term used to describe customers that view items in-store and then purchase online at a lower price, will increase 134% from 2011, forecasted IDC Retail Insights.

According to its new report, ‘Business Strategy: At Hand Versus In Hand — Will Consumers Have the Upper Hand in the 2012 Holiday Showroom Showdown?’, the number of showrooming shoppers is expected to continuing growing to reach  59m next year, 69m in 2014, and 78m in 2015.

Furthermore, the report claimed that big ticket items which are often evaluated by online reviews, will be the most showroomed items of the year, followed by apparel and footwear.

In terms of smarphone usage, 7 to 13% of consumer electronics shoppers will use their device at least once in stores this season, said the report.

Greg Girard, program Ddrector at IDC Retail Insights, explained: “The merchandising and customer services strategies that differentiate a retailer and define its value bear on showrooming shoppers’ propensity to rely on their smartphones in stores.

“Private labels or exclusive brands, customer service, and loyalty stand out as the most promising strategies for dealing with showrooming. Macy’s MOM strategy – My Macy’s for localization, Omnichannel and Magic Selling for customer engagement is an excellent example of how to reach new shoppers and will help the leading retailer successfully combat showrooming this holiday season.”

The Economist Intelligence Unit warned last month that shops will soon act as ‘little more than showrooms’ with predictions that online shopping will account for at least a third of UK retail commerce by 2022.

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