The practice of “showrooming,” or viewing an item in a retail store and then buying it online, has brought the e-commerce threat directly to bricks-and-mortar retailers.
Mobile raises the showrooming threat to a new level since price comparisons are available to shoppers immediately, as they make decisions and browse e-commerce websites in stores.
We also look at what the big retailers are doing to combat showrooming, and identify the five broad strategies that will help brick-and-mortar retailers win business from showroomers.
Take a look at this chart from our report:
Estimates of how much retail volume is influenced by smartphones vary wildly, but here are some numbers that gauge mobile showrooming’s influence:
- IDC predicted that smartphone use would influence between $700 million and $1.7 billion in U.S. holiday season retail sales in 2012. Fifty-nine million U.S. shoppers will use their smartphones to showroom in 2013.
- Deloitte Digital believes smartphones influenced $159 billion in U.S. store sales over the course of 2012 or 5 percent of the total, and will influence $689 billion of store sales in 2016.
- A recent study revealed that JC Penney — which just announced a disastrous 32 percent decline in same-store sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 — is at risk from showrooming because showroomers visited its locations 14 percent more frequently than the average U.S. shopper did in January 2013.