Webroomers and Showroomers - Pros Cons and Conversion Strategies

Here’s a closer look at webroomers, showroomers, and four tips for retailers who want to win the hearts, minds and purchases of both.

Webroomers and Showroomers – Pros Cons and Conversion Strategies

Webrooming and showrooming are two sides of the same coin.

Webroomers browse and research purchases online before buying at a brick and mortar store, often because they still want to see the item in person before buying but sometimes to avoid paying for shipping or waiting to receive the item.

Showroomers visit local brick and mortars to see, touch, try and sometimes try on items before ultimately buying them online at a lower price. While price may not always be the reason that showrooming leads to online buying, an Accenture report found that discounts were important to the buying decisions of more than nine in ten shoppers who engaged in showrooming.

Both have produced angst for retailers, since time and resources invested in creating and running online stores and physical retail locations go uncompensated if shoppers use their sites and stores for research, browsing and product experience, only to reward a lower-priced competitor with the sale. So much so that some brick and mortar retailers even charge fees for trying on or trying out their equipment, knowing that shoppers are likely going to buy somewhere else.

Retailers who have both online and offline shopping locations and the ability to offer consumers a seamless webrooming and showrooming shopping experience can negate the negative effects of both, provided their pricing is competitive and they can offer free or low-cost fast-delivery shipping. They still might not always win the sale, but by offering an omni-channel shopping experience, they give themselves a better chance.

What motivates Webroomeres and Showroomers to buy?

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – or at least meet them where they are. Webrooming and showrooming is standard practice for many shoppers, and it’s not always about price.

Digital shopping gives consumers the ability to make the most of their time online and off. By researching products, stores, prices and availability online before buying at a local store, they can get shopping done more conveniently and efficiently. Some keys for winning the business of shoppers who are webrooming include:

  • Free shipping and same or next day delivery options
  • Quality of graphics high enough that they feel confident about buying online, sight unseen
  • Super-fast, uncomplicated checkout process
  • Painless, convenient and free return policy if something’s not right
  • Real-time or automated marketing encouraging them to buy online or at least buy at the ecommerce site’s brick and mortar location

When it comes to consumers who visit showrooms with the intent to research and buy at a lower cost online (which is sometimes even done while the showroomer is in a physical retail location, right in front of sales staff) it’s important to remember that price objections can be overcome for some. To get the sale in-store before showroomers look for a better deal online, try:

  • Appealing to the shopper’s desire for immediate gratification –“You can own this today!”
  • Adding value that online retailers can’t or won’t, such as free returns, free adjustments, warranties, free or automatic upgrades when new models come out, etc.
  • Price-match guarantees
  • Using limited quantity or limited time offers to appeal to the buyer’s FOMO (fear of missing out)

4 Ways Retailers Can Win Over Webroomers and Showroomers

1. Webroomers and showroomers should be segmented, too.

All shoppers aren’t created – or motivated – equally. While some might be motivated to find the lowest price whether online or in a brick-and-mortar store, consumer shopping behaviors come from a variety of motivators. By discovering those consumers who want convenience, immediate gratification, who fear missing out, who appreciate value as much (or more) than perceived discounts, you can convert many webrooming and/or showrooming shoppers into buyers.

2. Automation and real-time marketing can improve conversions.

We live in a real time marketing world. Hitting shoppers with a real time offer before they leave your website or walk out of your retail store can provide the incentive they need to buy from you.

3. The ROI of Webrooming and showrooming isn’t limited to sales.

Just because a webroomer or showroomer didn’t buy from you, that doesn’t mean you didn’t get a win. Brand awareness, future sales, personal referrals and recommendations can all lead to sales down the road. Don’t skimp on the customer experience, even if you are convinced a shopper is going to buy somewhere else this time.

4. The opportunity to convert a webroomer or showroomer doesn’t end when they leave your store or site.

Give your business the chance to deliver bounce-back offers and create long-term relationships with shoppers. Capture email addresses, get social followers and use retargeting automation to keep the dialogue alive with webrooming and showrooming shoppers long after they leave your store or website.

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