Associate Interaction Combats Showrooming

Showrooming study GroupM Next ImageShowrooming, the practice of consumers conducting price comparisons on a mobile device while in-store and completing their purchase online, can impact the health of both brick and mortar and e-commerce retailers. A recent study found that 45 percent of customers shopping at brick and mortar locations would walk out and complete their purchase online for a discount as low as 2.5 percent. According to GroupM Next, who conducted he study, “Showrooming & The Price Of Keeping Buyers In-Store,” this number jumps to 60 percent of shoppers who would leave the store and purchase a product online for a savings of 5 percent. When discovering an online discount of 20 percent, a small percentage of shoppers, 13 percent, would stay and complete their purchase in-store. GroupM Next conducted the study to identify the tipping point at which the in-store and online price is large enough to lure shoppers out of stores. With insights into this trend, independent retailers can better target this segment of shoppers and capture their business online or at the checkout counter.

“Consumers have shifted their path to purchase to include the store as a step, but not necessarily the final step,” says said GroupM Next CEO Chris Copeland. “This will likely continue to increase over time. Brands need to think about how showrooming can be used to their advantage to navigate would-be buyers to a checkout location, be it in-store or online…Brands that sit on either side, be it the physical store or the online merchant, have multiple opportunities with this consumer change.”

Data highlights, as reported in the whitepaper on the research, include:

  • 44 percent of consumers use a mobile device to influence their purchase decision when shopping in-store.
  • If the price difference in-store vs. online is more than $5, most customers will leave the store.
  • The average showroomer profile includes females who are younger in age and make online purchases frequently.
  • The shopper who can be most swayed to stay and complete a purchase in-store is the older male, 55 percent of whom buy online one time per month.
  • Customers who interact with an associate are 12.5 percent more likely to purchase in-store.

“Finding only a small price difference elsewhere using a mobile device is enough to entice a shopper to leave the store and buy online. By employing strategies to reach this massive audience segment, brands can significantly bolster their sales at the register or take advantage of their showrooming and effectively get the sale via a branded app or online property,” notes GroupM Next Director of Research Patrick Monteleone, Ph.D. “However, nearly 10 percent of purchasers we surveyed chose to complete their purchase in-store, no matter the price discount offered. They key for marketers is to identify the next 10 percent, the group of customers that are sensitive to price, but can be swayed to stay in-store.”