How Online Retailers Can Fight the Rise of Webrooming

Showrooming used to be a common complaint for brick-and-mortar retailers, but now the tides are changing. Webrooming has become more prevalent and the fact that 56% of adults own a smartphone is exacerbating the problem for online retailers. Before we get too deep into webrooming, let’s define it. It is when shoppers research products online, but decide to buy them in a physical store instead. This is stealing money out of online retailers’ pockets and it’s increasing.

Webrooming is now more prevalent than showrooming; in the past 12 months 78% of shoppers have done the former, while 72% have done the latter. Online and in store retailers are in fierce competition for business, but shoppers are often less than impressed by the experience they have. Forty percent of shoppers think the in-store shopping experience could use some improvement, while 16% feel that way about the online shopping experience. So what does that mean for online retail? One would think that the apparent shopper dissatisfaction would lure shoppers online, but unfortunately that’s not true at all. In fact,  Accenture reports that 21% of consumers plan to increase in-store purchasing.

Here are four things online retailers can do to combat the top issues that are driving webrooming.

1. Shipping

No one likes to wait for something they want or need. Nearly a quarter (23%) of shoppers don’t want to wait for items to be delivered, so sweeten the deal. Free shipping is the best, but it might not be practical for your products or business. At the very least, offer efficient and cheap shipping because 47% of webroomers don’t want to pay for it in the first place.

2.  Returns and Exchanges Across Channels

Make returns and exchanges simple because shopping online puts a bit of guess work into the shopping process. Things might not fit, so in order to keep their business, make it easy for them. If you have online and brick-and-mortar stores, make in store returns and exchanges an option. It cuts out the hassle for many shoppers who don’t want to wait in line at the post office and 37% of shoppers want to be able to do this.

3. Everyone Loves Discounts

Make up for the time they’ll spend waiting for their items to arrive with a small discount. This is a great strategy because 73% of shoppers are influenced by discounts. Make consumers feel like they’re getting a special deal and they won’t be able to resist.

4. Provide Complete Product Information

Online shoppers don’t have the opportunity to try on or touch the products they’re buying, so provide them with as much information as you can. Provide high quality photos from multiple angles and all the color, size, material and component information you can to help shoppers make informed decisions.

Check out our infographic below to learn everything you need to know about webrooming:

webrooming

Min-Jee Hwang

Min-Jee is the former Director of Marketing at Wiser. She has extensive experience working with SaaS companies and holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from NYU Stern.

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