Communication

Webrooming vs. Showrooming – linking online and offline

Veröffentlicht am 19 January 2017 | von Sebastian Pieper

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The buying behavior has changed, that is not to question. Every consumer is looking for the best deal both online and offline. For this reason, it becomes more and more common nowadays that a product is not bought at the same place where the customer previously informed himself about it. Above all, migration between online and offline shopping is to be observed.
First to the definitions. Webrooming means, that a consumer gets online information about a product and then purchases it offline. For example, the customer collects pricing information via a comparison portal on the Internet, then buys the product suitable for him in the shop. The reverse also happens a lot, this behavior is called showrooming. In doing so, the customer informs himself about the product live in the offline shop, he can evaluate, touch and even get advice on the product. However in case of Showrooming the consumer then makes the purchase onlineFor these types of purchasing behavior, there are various reasons which are perceived as advantages by the consumer.

Advantages of an online / offline purchase

A study by HHL has summarized the main reasons for an online or offline purchase from consumer perspective. Arguments for an online purchase are the delivery to the customer’s home, the extensive range of available products and often also the price as well as the flexible payment possibilities. Further advantages are that the online shops are always accessible.
Reasons for an offline purchase are the opportunity to test the product properly and to have a personal and professional consultation. Taking the product directly home gives customers a positive purchase experience. For some customers it is also very important to support the local retailers – the reasons are diverse and vary according to the product and the consumer.

The trend remains – change has to come

Initially, shopkeepers watched showrooming with a bitter taste. For them, it is a loss, if consumers are advised in the store and then buy the goods somewhere else. In the meantime, however, the behavior is so widespread that it becomes clear that this trend is not going away.
The figures show that the majority of consumers do webrooming as well as showrooming regularly. 68 per cent have already informed themselves in the store and then consciously purchased online – showrooming. In the same way, however, 70 percent have already researched online and then bought the product in the shop – webrooming (source PwC).

For marketing, it is important to react to this behavior with innovative measures. In order to prevent migration and losses, the online and offline shopping experience must be linked. Companies that are active in both channels should point customers to the other channel. This reduces the risk of the user choosing another supplier when changing channels.
Example: The customer was advised in the shop but is still hesitant about the purchase. Now he receives the information that he has time to think about the purchase decision and has the possibility to order comfortably in the online shop, where he has the opportunity to read further customer reviews. If he discovers positive extras in the online shop, such as a wider variety of colors, he is not only satisfied with the store but also with the online appearance and remembers the pleasant shopping experience next time.

Ideas for an effective connection of online and offline

We have compiled a number of other innovative measures for linking the online and offline shop:

  • POS terminals: Interactive terminals at the POS enable customers to search for additional offers in the vendor’s online shop or to display suitable cross- and up-sells to the products in the shop. Exciting for digital direct marketing: POS terminals are ideal for getting (newsletter) opt-ins, especially in combination with promoters who actively point the customer to the terminal.
    Location-Based Services: Location-Based Services allow users to recognize the location of mobile users and f.e. with the help of push notifications (https://www.artegic.com/blog/app-push-notifications-the-new-star-among-digital-dialogue-channels/) they can sent coupons to a visitor in the store. The notifications can be individualized with purchase data from the online shop. “Thank you for purchasing the dress of your favorite brand in our online shop. We have the matching shoes in our store at the Musterstreet. And they are 10% cheaper “.
    Shopping Cart Reactivation: Reactivation mails for shopping cart dropouts are becoming more and more standard in e-commerce. Why not tell the mobile customers that they can watch the “abandoned” products live in the shop to convince themselves of a purchase. You can find more information on the topic of shopping cart cancellations in our blog entry “Reactivating shopping basket cancellations” (https://www.artegic.com/blog/reactivating-shopping-basket-cancellations-marketing-automation/)
    Click & Collect: Customers that purchase online are offered to pick up the goods offline. With this you can offer matching cross- and upsells again. In the event of a failure, the goods can be exchanged immediately, eliminating the complex return process from ecommerce. Location-based services inform the mobile customer if his (online) ordered items are available in a shop.
    Loyalty Programs: Loyalty programs, e.g. customer cards make it possible to record purchase data at the POS and also use it for digital communication (in the online shop). Also, the customer should be allowed to collect and output loyalty points in both channels.
    Displays in the store: Digital displays can display additional information about the products and also advertise current offers from the online store.Artegic has identified the five most important trends that will shape the marketing of companies by 2018. The e-book with all the trends is available for free download: https://www.artegic.com/digital-marketing-trends/

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