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Shopping : Do you know what ‘Webrooming’ means?

‘In-store pickups pick up’

Webrooming is the latest phenomenon impacting the online retail industry. In just the last year the majority of shoppers (78%) have participated in webrooming when they look up products online, but then choose to buy them in a physical store.

It has become common for customers to research items at home and then buy them at – or have them shipped to – a local shop. This can be great news for retailers but it has also created new issues for multichannel businesses

A few years ago, “showrooming” – in which a customer checks out a product at a physical store and then buys it from a different business online – looked like the harbinger of doom for brick-and-mortar retailers. Then shoppers flip-flopped that behavior, engaging in what’s dubbed “webrooming”.

Now it’s common for customers to research items at home and then head out to buy them at a shop. Consumers decide to go to a store for multiple reasons, including handling an item before they buy it, eliminating shipping costs and reducing the time it takes to get the product. This trend may be great news for retailers by creating new sales opportunities, but it has also created new challenges as businesses develop multichannel strategies.

First is the matter of up-to-date inventory data. Shoppers should be able to determine online if an item they want is available at a local store, yet that information is not always available in real time. The second challenge is to provide a consistent and quality customer service experience across all channels.

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