Monday, August 25, 2014

Ruminating on Showrooming and Webrooming in the Digital Age

When e-Commerce giants such as Amazon took the retail industry by storm, there was a lot of FUD on showrooming. As a digital native, even I indulged in showrooming before heading out to my favourite e-commerce site to buy the product online.

But a recent study conducted in US has found that many folks also engage in reverse showrooming (aka webrooming). In reverse showrooming," or "webrooming," consumers go online to research products, but then actually go to a bricks-and-mortar store to complete their purchase.

The following link on Business-Insider throws more details on this phenomenon.
http://www.businessinsider.in/Reverse-Showrooming-Bricks-And-Mortar-Retailers-Fight-Back/articleshow/30411064.cms

This report came as a surprise to me and I would assume that retailers are happy about this trend :)
Retailers are also trying out innovative techniques to capitalize on this trend. Some of them include deploying knowledgeable sales staff that educate the customer and create a superior in-store customer experience. BLE technology enabled beacons push personalized offers to the customer mobile app while he is in the store. m-Wallets would enable contact-less and hassle-free payments at POS.

Retailers are also embracing BOPiS (Buy Online Pick Up In Store) ! This greatly reduces the logistics/shipping costs, as the existing transportation network is used for delivery.

Popular e-Commerce software vendors such as Hybris have also started catering to this market and have an in-store solution for retailers. http://www.hybris.com/en/products/instore