This Christmas it’s the online retailers who need to worry thanks to a new trend called webrooming. (That’s web – rooming, not we-brooming.)
According to a new Harris Poll, more customers will be doing their initial research online before running out to buy at the store.
Let’s start with a clearer definition of terms. Here’s the way Harris phrased the question:
Have you ever gone online to examine or research a product before purchasing it in person, at a brick and mortar store?
Here’s the answer:
Around 7 out of 10 Americans said they have engaged in webrooming. But I’d disagree – slightly. I don’t think that doing research online prior to buying is necessarily webrooming. For example, reading reviews of an HD TV online that I fully intend to purchase at Best Buy isn’t webrooming.
What is webrooming is what I did earlier today. I wanted to buy some pop culture stocking stuffers for Christmas. I found some fun items online but I don’t want to pay shipping on these little items, so later today I’m going to the mall to buy the same toys I could have bought online. That’s webrooming. Normally, I’d rather buy from an online retailer but I’m not going to fill in forms and spend $7.00 to ship a $6.00 poster.
Where’d They Go?
The majority of webroomers headed to Walmart (24%), Best Buy (21%) and Target (9%) after doing their online research.
Going the other way around, 59% of showroomers ended up buying what they want from Amazon after scoping it out at a store.
48% of webroomers begin a Amazon before they drive to the store to make the final purchase. So I guess Amazon has nothing to worry about because it pretty much balances out in the end.
Walmart is the biggest winner because 67% of people who webroom at Walmart.com end up buying at Walmart the store.
What’s the bottom line?
Showroomers say that the last time they purchased a product online after checking it out in-store they spent an average of $174.00. That’s a pretty penny, but it’s down in comparison to both the average showrooming expenditure from last holiday season ($211.80) and webroomers’ average spending this year ($203.90).