What is “Webrooming” exactly? In simple terms, it’s shopping online before buying in the store. In realistic terms, it’s simply another tool in an “informed” shoppers arsenal. A strategy to navigate the chaos that can only be found on the busiest shopping days of the year. After all, “browsing” in a big toy store with a herd of other parents trying to get the hottest toy and best deal doesn’t seem at all possible. So shoppers might want to have a plan.
But how does Webrooming impact the retailer-shopper interaction? InfoScout analyzed almost 300,000 receipts from shoppers who purchased items on Black Friday. Over 500 shoppers who made at least one purchase from a key retailer during this period completed a mobile survey to determine how webrooming impacted their shopping experience.
I mean, how many shoppers are really webrooming anyway? Webroomers were a slight majority in this group of holiday shoppers, with 51% stating they were looking online before visiting the actual store. The highest percentage of Webroomers made a purchase in Target (63%) or Toys R Us (62%). By contrast, slightly less than 35% of the shoppers surveyed reported Showrooming, which is the act of browsing products in store before buying them online. That’s right, Webrooming is actually more common than Showrooming.
When are these Webroomers searching online? The majority (63%) are online looking 12 hours or less before their in-store visit. And another 17% are online while they are in the physical store location.
What exactly did Webroomers look at while they were online? Black Friday specials, of course!! 74% were online looking at Black Friday specials. But check out the shoppers who made a purchase in Toys R Us!! 80% of these shoppers were comparing prices to other retailers before their in-store trip – that’s almost double the shoppers for any other retailer. Top websites Toys R Us shoppers were comparing? toysrus.com (80%), walmart.com (56%), target.com (60%), and amazon.com (52%).
So can retailers really benefit from Webrooming? Webrooming seems like a win-win for both shoppers and retailers. Compared to shoppers who didn’t spend time online before going to the store, Webroomers were more tactical in their approach – visiting a fewer number of stores but spending more overall.
It’s important to note that with an ever growing group of digitally armed – saving savvy shoppers, retailers will be forced to implement marketing plans that are smart, releavant, flawless, and above all perfectly timed. The retailer must be able to easily provide shoppers with the basics (price, product, promotion, and place) thereby allowing the shopper to feel confident in knowing they made the right plan.
While Black Friday sales might have been disappointing for many retailers and many didn’t even shop on Black Friday, there is still time to woo shoppers in December as they look to complete their holiday shopping.
About the Data:
These insights were powered by InfoScout’s ability to trigger real-time surveys based on observed shopping behavior. The data in this article was sourced from a survey completed by 500 of our 300,000 active panelists, triggered on Tuesday, 12/1/2015 to shoppers who made Black Friday purchases in 2015 (11/26/2015).