As the 2012 holiday shopping season heats up, one trend many marketers and analysts will closely monitor is the concept of “showrooming.” Showrooming occurs when consumers try out merchandise in stores then go online to buy them, often at a discounted price.
Fifty-six percent of American consumers are expected to participate in some aspect of showrooming this holiday season, according to Mobile Marketer.
Showrooming is driving many brick-and-mortar retailers crazy as they attempt to thwart the effects of Amazon and other online retailers on their bottom line. It’s also causing several well-known global retail giants, including Best Buy, to seriously rethink the physical size and make-up of their stores.
So what’s a savvy retailer marketer to do in the wake of showrooming’s rise and dominance of commerce?
The marketing geniuses at Google might just have the answer. After surveying 1,500 holiday consumers about their shopping habits, Google has found that the “lines between online and offline commerce are blurring,” according to Direct Marketing News. Google details these findings in its recently released Pre-Holiday 2012 Consumer Intentions study.
Despite dire predictions within marketing ranks that consumers would start to skip physical stores entirely in favor of online shopping, Google’s study finds that isn’t the case. In fact,... Read more
The following is a response to Emma Straub's Time.com piece, "Browse at a Bookstore, Buy at Amazon: The Evil of Showrooming."
Dear Ms. Straub,
I was surprised to learn, in your recent article on Time.com, that I am evil. While I am generally regarded as an obnoxious smartass, I had foolishly believed, until I read your article, that only my wife’s cat and my first-grade teacher, Sister Victorine, saw me as truly evil.
Admittedly, you did not single me out as the devil’s spawn; you took a broad swipe at a large and growing segment of your own customer base – those who [shudder] scan the barcodes on books with their smartphones while browsing in independent bookstores like yours. You reached the summary judgment that we lowly, “sneaky” barcode scanners are “selling out” your bookstore by using it as a showroom to browse books that we intend to purchase from the depths of Hades itself, Amazon.com.
I understand why independent booksellers and other local merchants are vexed by the problem of shoppers defecting to Amazon for lower prices; our own Digital Futures Group studied this phenomenon in its report on mobile retail behavior. But perhaps my own buying habits will prove illuminating. When I’m... Read more