Is Webrooming Replacing Showrooming?

Most brick-and-mortar retailers express a lot of concern in this internet age about “showrooming” – when consumers visit a physical store to browse a product and then price shop it online to make their purchase. But a new study from Merchant Warehouse says that the reverse may be true more often than retailers think. Webrooming (aka “reverse showrooming”) – where consumers research a purchase online to choose a product and find a good price on it before making a purchase in a brick and mortar location – is actually more prevalent than showrooming.

According to the research, consumer motivation for webrooming includes avoidance of shipping fees, ensuring an item is in stock before venturing out to shop, and getting their purchase immediately.

As a result of what they learned from the study, Merchant Warehouse has some recommendations for local retailers about how to capitalize on webrooming. Check them out in the infographic below!

A Retailers Guide to Webrooming | Merchant Warehouse

8 Responses to Is Webrooming Replacing Showrooming?

  1. gabmcann May 14, 2014 at 6:48 am #

    That is so interesting … I must say I have done both webrooming and showrooming! And learned these two terms today!

  2. Lezlee May 14, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    Awesome review and interesting material – thanks!

  3. Jennifer Earley May 14, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    I too have done both of these! Having moved to a more rural area 6 years ago, traveling at least 30 minutes to browse the shelves of a brick and mortar store becomes less convenient. I need to make sure what I want is on those shelves before trekking out!

  4. Keli May 14, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    This was a great post Nancy, thanks.

  5. itsybel, May 14, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    Very interesting, but this has been going on for years–just get the sku app on your phone, take a picture of it and it comes up with where you can get it the cheapest–whether another local shop or online. Very hurtful when the shop owner sees their customers doing this, but every industry has their ‘lookey lous’ something a small shop owner deals with on a daily basis

  6. Nancy Nally May 14, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    The practice you are referring to is called Showrooming – where customers visit a brick and mortar store to research a product and then leave to make a purchase online. This has certainly been an ongoing frustration for brick and mortar retailers with the growth of online shopping in recent years.

    The research, though, was referring to the growth of REVERSE showrooming (aka webrooming) – where customers do research online to learn about a product and find the best price, find a store that carries it and ensure it is in stock, before going to a physical store to make the purchase there. This is a good thing for local retailers and the infographic has suggestions for stores on how to use their online presence to encourage web browsers to come into their stores to purchase to cash in on this trend even more.

  7. mjmarmo May 15, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    Never heard of these terms. I work at a brick and mortar bookstore and will be sharing this info with the store manager.

  8. Susan May 18, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    Not heard of the terms, but I am into webrooming. I prefer to purchase from local brick and mortar store if they have the products – sadly if the merchandise is not out for me to purchase then I have to purchase online. Today when a store website tells that they have xx items in the brick and mortar store, I go to the store and find no such item, I am not a happy shopper. Inventory control is important.

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