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Aprimo Research : “The showrooming trend is just getting started, and it’s ready to explode”

“Showrooming” by Consumers Using Mobile Devices is Transforming Retail Shopping. New Survey Data from Aprimo Urges Greater Focus on Customer-driven Brand Experience.

To obtain a free Executive Summary of the findings, please visit Aprimo’s Retail website.

New research by Aprimo®, in collaboration with Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulupuru, found that one in five consumers is now “showrooming” – the practice of visiting retail stores to try products, but then checking a mobile device for the best price online. 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, vice president and principal analyst for Forrester Research, who helped develop the survey questions and analyse results. “Retailers must seriously consider ways to avoid losing sales this way by using strategies such as price matching, personalised in-store service and loyalty programs.”

In Aprimo’s analysis, 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 personalised in-store experience while empowering customer-driven choice.

Aprimo’s 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 behaviour pays off for retailers with lower prices – more than half of consumers report discovering lower prices online than in the store. Only 8% recall seeing higher prices.

“Retailers are eager to see data like this because it helps them shape strategies to compete as mobile devices continue to disrupt the status quo,” said Marc Schroeder, vice president, Industry Solutions at Aprimo, who helped develop the survey. “The opportunity here is to leverage technology and common sense and shift to a customer-centric value proposition through better service, smarter timing and relevant offers.  Retailers need new ways to build loyalty and brand value; physical-store retailers will not win in the long run by focusing only on price matching.”

To obtain a free Executive Summary of the findings, please visit Aprimo’s Retail website.

photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

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