A year ago, retailers were worried showrooming–the practice of visiting stores to ‘touch and feel’ products, then returning home to buy them online–would devastate in-store sales. With the threat of showrooming looming, retailers quickly launched innovative omnichannel initiatives that worked to get customers to buy more often in-store.
Now, with the threat of showrooming waning, retailers are facing a new challenge: webrooming. This practice, given a clever name, really just entails researching products online, then purchasing in-store. Customers visit sites such as Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy to research products, and then visit local stores to buy the items. This poses a threat to retailers if people webroom on their sites, but purchase at a competitor’s store. But the practice can also be an advantage for retailers if they can find ways to lure webroomers to their own locations.
Have you heard of webrooming? What do you think? Read this month’s contributed article in MultiChannel Merchant here and tell us what you think.
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