Survey: Webrooming—research online, buy in store—tops showrooming

November 7, 2014 Laura McDaniel
We've heard about the growth of ecommerce, but in reality, online sales make up approximately 6 percent of total sales.  Customers are still shopping in-store, and are now using the web as part of their research before doing so.  As written on Chain Store Age, Webrooming is now done at a greater percentage than showrooming. 
New York -- Incidents of smartphone “showrooming”—seeing a product in a store, then buying it online from another retailer using a smartphone—dropped from 37% in the United States last year to 28% in 2014. But “webrooming,” in which consumers buy in a store after researching a purchase online using a smartphone, was reported by an even higher proportion of respondents, 41%.  Those are among the findings of GfK’s 2014 FutureBuy global study of shopping habits and preferences.
“The big takeaway from this year’s FutureBuy study is how dynamic the shopper environment has become,” said Joe Beier, executive VP of GfK’s shopper and retail strategy team in North America. “We are seeing double-digit point changes in metrics designed to measure relatively foundational behaviors, such as omnichannel and devices used to shop. This volatility, combined with significant variability in shopper behavior by category and generation, makes it even more imperative that manufacturers and marketers build out an up-to-date and nuanced shopper insights platform, from which highly engaging and relevant programming can be developed."
Across 15 product and service categories studied, 44% of  shoppers reported combining online and in-person shopping activities—up 7% versus 2013. Once limited primarily to big-ticket purchases, this omnichannel behavior is surging in even lower-priced categories such as beauty and personal care (reported by 39% of US shoppers), lawn and garden (29%), and food and beverage (22%).
Read the entire article here.
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