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Is Showrooming Becoming a Showstopper?

Showrooming, the popular practice of ‘shopping’ products in a store only to go home and order them at the cheapest price online, is losing popularity. Business and retail industry sources say that shoppers who”showroomed” spent a significantly smaller amount of money in 2013.

Now, a new term is on industry lips: Reverse Showrooming. But even this concept is not new. When the Internet first came on the scene, that’s how people shopped – compared prices online then went to the stores to buy. And now, it’s happening again. According to a Harris poll, 69% of people in the U.S. are reverse showroomers (with only 46% being showroomers).

Why the Reversal?

We think many reasons warrant praise for the resurgence of in-store purchasing. Retailers are making their in-store experiences more hands on (see our blog on Retail Theater) armed with a knowledgeable staff that can offer solutions and suggestions.  Stores are also ramping up convenience – many retailers hit hardest by showrooming are offering in-store pickup for online orders, easy returns, and in-store promotions. All of these things attract shoppers. And enough retailers must be doing it well enough to ensure cash registers are ringing instead of sales soaring in cyberspace.

Simply put, retailers can no longer afford to be just purveyors of goods. Instead, they must think of themselves as all-around consumer resources, offering GREAT shopping experiences that ultimately provide instant gratification (something the web robots haven’t figured out yet, thankfully). After all, isn’t the real deal always better?

How do you like to shop? Are you part of the 69% who reverse showroom?

Click here to really dig into the report from BI Intelligence.

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