Report: Showrooming here to stay

Indianapolis -- One-in-five consumers is now "showrooming," according to new research by Aprimo, a Teradata in collaboration with Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. Of those consumers already showrooming, 33% say they ultimately used the information to buy elsewhere. The trend is only expected to continue growing, too, as 96% say they plan to use their smart phone to research prices the same way or more in the future.

"This research confirms what many in the retail industry have suspected: Showrooming is here to stay," said Sucharita Mulpuru, VP and principal analyst for Forrester Research, who helped develop the survey questions and analyze results. "Retailers must seriously consider ways to avoid losing sales this way by using strategies such as price matching, personalized in-store service and loyalty programs."

According to Aprimo, this means that in order to preserve sales and sustain pricing levels, today's physical-store retailers need to become more customer-centric, be less product/feature or price-point focused, and start leveraging technology solutions to engage the buyer through a more personalized in-store experience while empowering customer-driven choice.

The survey also found: 

  • The showrooming trend is just getting started, and it's ready to explode – one-third of those who have not used their smartphones for in-store research haven't done so simply because the idea hadn't yet occurred to them.
  • Showrooming isn't just for big ticket items – while consumer electronics are the most popular items price-checked in store (39%), groceries (37%) are the second-most researched and apparel/footwear (33%) came in third.
  • Showrooming behavior pays off for retailers with lower prices – more than half of consumers report discovering lower prices online than in the store. Only eight percent recall seeing higher prices.