How to Build Better Relationships With Webrooming and Showrooming Customers
The retail industry is always changing, with new trends introduced every year. Some of these trends are pretty easy to take on, while others can offer a challenge — e.g., the increasing frequency of consumers webrooming or showrooming when shopping for their next purchase.
Though you’re likely already familiar with the practice, let’s define the terms. Webrooming is the act of researching a product online then purchasing it in-store, while showrooming is the act of searching for an item in-store, then purchasing online — two purchase experiences, flipped sides of the same coin. While there is some crossover between the two, with 60 percent of webroomers having also spent time showrooming, and 90 percent of showroomers having webroomed, retailers still need to understand how to cater to and optimize experiences for both types.
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Showroomers Seek Visuals
Picture what it’s like to walk into Ikea: a sample living room to your left and your dream bedroom set up on the right. These specific displays help in-store shopping transform a Saturday afternoon errand into a true experience. As a retailer, take advantage. Your displays offer opportunities for your sales team to interact with shoppers, provide a tactile product experience, and increase the chances of an in-store purchase.
A number of major retailers are taking this strategy and running with it. Bonobos, a men’s apparel company, has a “Guideshop,” in which employees work with customers to find the perfect outfit. However, rather than leading them to purchase in-store, Bonobos allows these showroomers to purchase items where they’re most comfortable: online.
Restoration Hardware takes the approach one step further, encouraging consumers to bring in photos, layouts, measurements and a wish list to work one-on-one with designers to develop their dream room. Based on their in-store design experience, customers can then purchase items in the comfort of their own home, rather than feeling the pressure to purchase in-store.
A New Wave of Webroomers
Somewhat predictably, 78 percent of shoppers ages 18-29 prefer online shopping to brick-and-mortar browsing for a variety of reasons like convenience and online coupons. However, all of this makes their in-store experience that much more vital to your sales success.
Before they’ve even entered the store, many webroomers have typically made up their mind about what they want to purchase. They’ve done their research, and they’re looking for instant gratification when they arrive. It’s a bit of a benefit to retailers, which no longer have to start from scratch on product info and instead can offer added-value items (e.g., protection plans) that webrooming customers may have overlooked online.
Additionally, if you’re able to pique webroomers’ interests enough to get them back inside your store a second time, it’s important to emphasize that their loyalty is appreciated. Roughly two-thirds of consumers say they’re more likely to stop shopping at a retailer if they aren’t recognized as a loyal customer.
Webroomers and showroomers offer a new retail challenge. However, by creating personal experiences and focusing on long-term customer loyalty, your business can successfully appeal to both.
Paul Dobbins is national director of sales and account management for Fortegra Financial Corporation, a specialized insurance and insurance services company.
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Paul Dobbins is National Director of Sales & Account Management for Fortegra Financial Corporation. Fortegra and its subsidiaries comprise a single-source insurance services provider that offers a range of consumer protection options including warranty solutions, credit insurance, and specialty underwriting programs. Delivering multifaceted coverage with an unmatched service experience for both partners and their customers, Fortegra solves immediate, everyday needs, empowering consumers to worry less and Experience More.