Reverse Showrooming

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Reverse Showrooming - Growth

About 28.9% of the United States consumers prefer reverse showrooming or researching products online and then purchasing offline. The projected growth of digitally influenced US retail sales, through online and mobile advertising, online marketplaces, and mobile search is expected to reach 58% by 2023 from 36% in 2018 (or about $1.3 trillion of the total retail sales). The main reason why US consumers engage in reverse showrooming is to be able to read customer reviews of the products before buying them offline through physical stores.

Reverse showrooming prevalence

  • According to a report from GetApp, 28.9% of US consumers prefer reverse showrooming, or to research items online and then buy in physical stores. On the other hand, only 7.5% prefer showrooming, or researching products in physical stores first and then buying online.
  • Majority of the consumers (53.1%) still prefer shopping online, while 10.5% of US consumers prefer to research and buy products in physical stores.
  • About 36.6% of US consumers said they only do 25% of their purchases using reverse showrooming, 32.8% of US consumers do 25%-50% of their purchases using reverse showrooming, and only about 5% of US consumers do 75%-100% of their purchases using reverse showrooming.
  • According to a report from GetApp, the products mostly preferred by US consumers for using reverse showrooming are electrical items (15.1%), electronic items (14.3%), clothing (13%), home furnishings (10.9%), and groceries (8.9%).
  • According to a report from Oath, preference per generation on using webrooming when purchasing products are 40% of millennials, 35% of Generation X, and 33% of Baby Boomers.

Reverse showrooming growth

  • According to a report from Forrester Group, the total US retail sales in 2018 was about $3.7 trillion in multiple categories, where 36% (or about $1.3 trillion of total) was influenced by digital factors via reverse showrooming such as online and mobile advertising, online marketplaces, and mobile search.
  • By 2023, 58% of total US retail sales will be influenced by digital factors, wherein consumers first research online and then purchase offline or in-store, also called as reverse showrooming.
  • About 31% of the 2018 US total retail sales (about $1.1 trillion of total) was digitally influenced by mobile smartphones which is projected to have 90% shares of digitally influenced sales in 2022. This will grow to about $1.4 trillion in retail sales by 2023, according to a report from Forrester Group.

Consumer reasons for engaging in reverse showrooming

According to a report from GetApp, the reasons why US consumers engage in practicing reverse showrooming include:
  • Consumers want to read customer reviews of products before buying them offline. (49.1% of US consumers)
  • Consumers can compare prices across multiple retailers. (29.1% of US consumers)
  • Consumers want to take their time on making decisions before buying their products offline. (16.5% of US consumers)
  • Consumers want to view their products at a faster pace. (5.2% of US consumers)
Part
02
of three
Part
02

Reverse Showrooming - Consumer Journey

The consumer process while engaging in "reverse showrooming" include browsing online on desktop or phone, interacting on social media, doing further research and comparison between brand websites, and buying the item in-store.

Reverse Showrooming - Consumer Journey overview

  • The reverse showrooming is also called "webrooming".
  • In the US, 69% say they “reverse showroom” looking online before heading to the store to buy.
  • About 69% of shoppers who are webrooming or reverse showrooming admit that they are active Reverse Showroomers.


Reverse Showrooming stages

Stage 1: Browsing online on desktop or phone

  • Among consumers, 38% start their shopping journey on a phone, while 43% begin on a desktop and end up buying an item in person at a store.
  • Around 69% of consumers say they "reverse showroom", or searches online before heading to the store to buy items.
  • Consumers still shop in stores most often, but they are searching on their phones beforehand to make sure it's worth the trip.

Stage 2: Interacting on social media

  • On Pinterest, 50% of the items catch the user's attention while they were casually browsing it on a stranger's board (24%), on a friend's board (19%), and on a retailer's board (7%).
  • There are 21% of users who had bought an item in a store after pinning, repinning, or liking the item on the site.
  • Consumers tend to look at multiple websites, reviews, blog posts or forums to determine which items best fit their needs. Once the product has been fully researched, the consumer will complete the purchase in a physical store.

Stage 3: Further research and comparison between brand websites

  • 88% of webrooming internet users and shoppers compare online prices between different stores before making a purchase decision.
  • Among the consumers who participate in webrooming or reverse showrooming, 77% says they do this to find the lowest price, while 72% says to compare the products, and 71% says to conduct research.
  • 90% of the consumer's buying decision is influenced by online reviews.

Stage 4: Buying in-store

  • The top reasons why consumers prefer to webroom and buy in-store products are: they do not want to pay for the shipping (47%), they do not want to wait for the product to be delivered (23%), they prefer to go to the store to touch the product before they purchase it (46), they would try to ask the store to match a better price they found while during their online search (36%), or they like the option of being able to return the item to the store if needed (37%).
  • 85% of shoppers prefer to shop in-store, while 90% of consumers are more likely to buy when helped by a knowledgeable staff member.
  • Aside from considering that consumers have already decided about what they want to purchase before they enter in the physical store and have already done their research, they are still looking for instant gratification when they are in store.

Research Strategy:

To provide an in-depth overview detailing the consumer's journey and process while engaging in "reverse showrooming" (or "webrooming") across mobile, online, or websites, we started our search to look at articles, media updates, surveys, and reports from credible websites such as Forbes, Social4Retail, The Business Journals, and Working Solutions. We focused or search on relevant information around the consumers' journey in "reverse showrooming", from how the consumers are considering different online sites and researches, to deciding on where to shop and finally picking up the item in the store. In our search, we found some surveys and statistical reports on how consumers engage in reverse showrooming and we included them in the presentation of stages above.


Part
03
of three
Part
03

Reverse Showrooming - Top Retailers

Examples of retailers that are currently championing reverse showrooming in the US are Home Depot which has remodeled some stores to create separate pickup areas with lockers for customers, Walmart that uses in-store Pickup Towers to help customers quickly grab their online orders, and Target that employs a Drive Up service to allows customers to place orders online and then pick it up without getting out of their car. Best Buy also provides dedicated parking spaces for customers who buy online and pick up the items in store, and Old Navy champions reverse showrooming by partnering with Lyft to offer free round-trip rides to customers going to their stores to pick up online orders.

Home Depot

  • Home Depot is one example of retailers that are currently championing reverse showrooming in the US. According to data from Adobe Analytics, Home Depot customers picked up nearly half of their online orders in stores during the holidays in 2018, and a fifth of those customers bought additional items doing so.
  • What makes Home Depot unique in this area is that they have remodeled some of their stores in order to create separate pickup areas with lockers so that customers can unlock with an order number or a government identification, and pick up their items.
  • Other retailers that champion reverse showrooming by offering this service are Kohl’s which has buy online pick up in store lockers in eight stores, and Macy’s which has similar lockers in five locations.

WALMART

  • Walmart champions reverse showrooming with the use of in-store Pickup Towers or kiosks that help customers to quickly grab their online orders. The Pickup Towers which were launched in 2017 in 200 stores, resemble vending machines for online orders. This concept helps customers to save on orders by cutting out last-mile deliveries, since shipping to a store costs Walmart less. When customers do not pay for shipping, they benefit by getting a cheaper price and receive their items faster.
  • Walmart has rolled out a total of 1,700 Towers in their stores in the US since launching the pickup towers. Pickup Towers are available to nearly 40% of the U.S. population.
  • With customers loving the Pickup Tower service and wanting more, the company is planning to launch new Pickup Towers that can be used to retrieve larger items, and the Towers will therefore feature Pickup Lockers, making it easy for customers to pickup things like new TVs.

TARGET

  • Target has championed reverse showrooming with the use of its Drive Up service. This allows customers to place orders online, and then pick up their items at a nearby store without getting out of their car.
  • The Drive Up service is popular among parents who have small children, as everyday shopping tends to be difficult for them. Parents with babies have used Drive Up to restock household essentials like diapers. Other Target shoppers use Drive Up to get large and bulky online purchases such as televisions loaded straight into their vehicles.
  • Drive Up is a free service where customers use the Target app to place an order and get their items brought out to their car in under two minutes. The service is currently available at more than 1,100 stores.

Best Buy

  • Best Buy champions reverse showrooming by providing dedicated parking spaces for customers who buy online and pick up the items in store. This makes it convenient for customers as 70 percent of people in the US live within 15 minutes of a Best Buy store, while millions of others drive past at least one store daily as they go to and from work.
  • Best Buy goes even further in championing reverse showrooming in that if a customer's product is available in the store at a lower price when they go to pick it up, the customer's transaction is modified to reflect the lower price.

old navy

  • The 2018 holiday season was record-breaking for Old Navy’s buy online pickup in-store orders. Old Navy champions reverse showrooming by partnering with Lyft to offer free, a maximum of $10 off each way, round-trip rides to customers going to their stores to pick up online orders, such as on Dec. 22 and Dec. 15.
  • Old Navy enjoys incremental sales where shoppers who go to pick up online orders, end up checking out with much more. Around 15 to 25 percent of online orders for store pick up led to additional in-store purchases for the retailer.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Recent data distributed by Vision Critical and highlighted in the Harvard Business Review found that 21% of Pinterest users had bought an item in a store after pinning, repinning, or liking the item on the site. "
  • "Vision Critical describes this as part of a wider phenomenon it calls "reverse showrooming," in which consumers search or browse products online and then enter the physical shop to make a final purchase. (This contrasts with showrooming, which implies handling a product in stores, only to price-compare and buy it for less money online.)"
  • "Vision Critical found that 50% of the items caught users' attention while they were casually browsing Pinterest itself (24% on a stranger's boards, 19% on a friend's, and 7% on a retailer's). Another 10% came from Pinterest searches. These numbers are a testament to Pinterest's power as a kind of user-generated digital retail catalog that shoppers flip through for ideas."
Quotes
  • "The majority of U.S. consumers display omnichannel payment behaviors, even when retailers don’t offer dedicated omnichannel customer journeys. For example, forty-six percent of shoppers in the U.S. confess to “showrooming”—checking out a product in store before buying online—and an impressive sixty-nine percent say they “reverse showroom,” looking online before heading to the store to buy. Globally, up to fifty-two percent of shoppers seek out price comparisons online while browsing products in a brick-and-mortar store. Consumers want to shop and pay on multiple platforms, both online and offline."
Quotes
  • "The RetailMeNot study also indicates there’s a segment of shoppers who are “reverse showrooming.” About 38 percent of shoppers who start their shopping journey on a phone and 43 percent of those who begin on a desktop end up actually buying an item in person at a store, meaning the in-store experience still carries weight. "
Quotes
  • "According to a Retail Perceptions study, almost 9 out of 10 consumers (88%) compare online prices between different stores before making a purchasing decision. A definition of reverse showrooming could be: customers who go to a physical business to purchase products and services they have met on the Internet."
Quotes
  • "Also called webrooming, reverse showrooming is just as it sounds: Customers do their research online, then visit a store to make a final evaluation and purchase."
  • "Reverse showrooming is actually nothing new,” notes BusinessInsider’s Emily Adler. “Since the early days of online shopping, more people have researched their shopping online than have actually bought there. What has changed is that retailers have begun to identify the reverse showrooming trend and the opportunity it offers to them, and they are now working to actively capture those sales.”"
  • "A Harris poll cited by Adler found that 69% of shoppers webroom, while just 46% admit to actively showrooming."
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "Smith said Home Depot had remodeled some stores to create separate pickup areas with lockers that customers can unlock with a government identification and an order number."
Quotes
  • "Walmart is doubling down on its technology innovations in its brick-and-mortar stores in an effort to better compete with Amazon. The retailer today announced the expanded rollout of several technologies — ranging from in-store Pickup Towers to help customers quickly grab their online orders to floor-scrubbing robots."
Quotes
  • "The company’s Drive Up service, which allows shoppers to place orders online, then pick up at a nearby store without getting out of their car, is now on track to reach nearly 1,000 U.S. "
Quotes
  • "Drive Up, the free service that allows guests to place orders in the Target app, then have their items brought right out to their car in under two minutes. The service now is available at more than 1,100 stores, with plans to bring the ease and convenience of Drive Up to more cities throughout the year. "
Quotes
  • "Old Navy is partnering with Lyft to offer free (or up to $10 off each way) round-trip rides to the store for picking up those online orders on Dec. 22. It also offered the Lyft rides for pickup on Dec. 15."
Quotes
  • "If your product is available at a lower price in the store at the time you pick it up, your original form of payment will be automatically adjusted to reflect the lower price. Some exclusions apply."
  • ""
Quotes
  • "We’re rapidly expanding this pickup program by adding more than 500 additional Pickup Towers to stores across the country, bringing the total to more than 700 by the end of the year. With this expansion, Pickup Towers will be available to nearly 40% of the U.S. population."
  • "Our customers have been clear: They love the Pickup Tower. But, they also told us they wanted the ability to retrieve larger items the same way. That’s why every new Pickup Tower will come with Pickup Lockers, making it just as easy to pick up that new TV as it is to pick up a new baseball glove."