“Showrooming” is the practice of examining merchandise in a brick-and-mortar store without actually making a purchase, and then shopping online to find a lower price. This method of Internet comparison shopping initially terrified businesses—the National Retail Federation listed it as the number-one risk facing retailers in 2012—but it seems that many are now embracing this shift in consumer perception.
In fact, new research indicates that showrooming is not simply viewed as a necessary step in the shopping process anymore; it is now considered common sense. With this marketplace evolution, large retailers have launched aggressive price matching campaigns to narrow the gap between brick-and-mortar prices and online prices.
Enter “webrooming.” Because product prices across multiple channels are relatively close to each other now, a new trend has emerged. Webrooming is the practice of gathering product information online—like features, prices, reviews, and warranties—and then heading to a store to make a purchase. This method of Internet comparison shopping is essentially the process of showrooming, in reverse.
Smart shoppers understand that while price plays a large part in purchasing decisions, the lowest price doesn’t always indicate the best value. So whether it’s showrooming or webrooming, always start with trust.
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