Post Categories: May 2014

Retail Perceptions: The Rise of Webrooming—A changing consumer landscape

may14-retail-feature2You’ve probably heard plenty about showrooming over the last couple of years. That’s when a shopper goes into a store to see, touch or test out a product before eventually buying it online. But are you familiar with webrooming? If you’re in the world of brick-and-mortar retail—you should be.

Webrooming is when a shopper starts researching a product online, but then ends up buying it in-store. According to a recent consumer insights survey by Interactions, a staggering 88 percent of internet users and shoppers engage in the practice today. Now, that’s not to say they’ve left showrooming completely behind—76 percent say they also do that. Clearly these trends point to the enormous role digital plays in our shopping behaviors today. But what influences consumers on where to start their research versus where to buy the final product? And is there anything retailers can do to sway those decisions in their favor? That’s what Interactions set out to investigate in its latest Retail Perceptions report.

“What the results of this survey revealed to us is that consumers expect retailers to be everywhere they are,” says Interactions’ Vice President of Global Marketing and Analytics Giovanni Demeo. “If retailers are optimizing according to channel, or are not embracing the concept of ‘Everywhere Commerce,’ they are putting themselves at risk of an inconsistent customer experience, potentially reduced profits and diminished brand loyalty.”

In addition to factors such as cost and a desire to see a product in person, the survey also found that the store’s environment plays a role in deciding the final purchase destination as well. More than 18 percent who start their research in-store say they end up buying online to avoid having to wait in the checkout line.

How much people spend also plays a role. The survey revealed that a whopping 88 percent of shoppers have an online spending limit; meaning for items over a certain price, they prefer to go into a physical store for a transaction.

Interactions also discovered key insights and potential opportunities regarding the types of products people prefer to buy in-store vs. online, and uncovered the top reasons why some active internet users still refuse to shop online at all and more. To see more of the results from Interactions’ latest Retail Perceptions report, or to learn how you can put the data to work for your retailer, visit