Showrooming Data is Scary

The Pew Research Foundation came out with a recent study called the Rise of In-Store Mobile Commerce calling out the impact of mobile smartphones on holiday 2011 shopping. The numbers speak to the scary impact of the showrooming phenomenon.

  • 52 % of shoppers with cell phones walked into retail stores and did at least some research by smart phone.
  • 19 % of them ultimately made their purchases online.

While they were in the stores:

  • 38 percent of cell owners called a friend while they were in a store for advice about a purchase they were considering making.
  • 24 percent of cell owners used their phone to look up reviews of a product online while they were in a store.
  • 25 percent of adult cell owners used their phones to look up the price of a product online, to see if they could get a better price somewhere else.

These are huge numbers since we are talking about 52% of all holiday shoppers using mobile while physically shopping and over 10% of all holiday shoppers buying online instead of in the store. Which retailer would not like a 10% uplift in store sales right now? Showrooming is real and it will not go away because retailer attempt to make their products unique from each other. Technology will catch up to that. How do retailers compete?

  • Use their data to deliver personalized service and offers in-store.
  • Make the in-store experience information rich. Don’t give shoppers a reason to end-run the store info.
  • Make the time/value calculation for shoppers point to time by personalizing offers based on events (phone app loading, information searching…) and content (once you know what they are looking for, incentivize them to buy now.
  • Make the shopper experience epic — Lance Armstrong’s coffee shop in Austin — its not just about the coffee

Much more can and should be said. But its too involved for a blog post. Contact us if you want to learn more.