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BizReport : : November 21, 2012

Store retailers could lose 5% of holiday season sales through showrooming

Eight out of ten retailers are affected by showrooming, according to new research from Edgell Knowledge Network, in partnership with Ebay, yet just 10% have strategies in place to limit its effects.

by Helen Leggatt

edgell showrooming.jpgAccording to Gaurav Pant, research director at Edgell Knowledge Network, the act of using a mobile phone in-store to check competitors' prices is here to stay. "Showrooming", as it's called, can have an adverse effect on a retailer's bottom line if strategies aren't in place to limit its effect.

The report, "The Impact of Showrooming on the 2012 Holiday Season", reveals that 80% of retailers expect to be impacted by showrooming. They expect to lose, on average, 5% of sales to the practice. Electronics and appliance categories were expected to be the most vulnerable.

However, only a quarter of retailers surveyed supported full integration between their store and online channels, and only 15% share their inventory online - two reliable methods for retailers to lessen showrooming's impact.

"Showrooming is a phenomenon that's here to stay. One in four shoppers used their mobile phones to compare prices while in the store during the 2011 holiday season, and those numbers will only grow," said Gaurav Pant, Research Director, Edgell Knowledge Network. "But the good news is that retailers can put strategies in place to help counter the effects of showrooming by engaging showroomers actively, integrating their online and offline channels, and prioritizing their investments to counter showrooming."

Earlier this year, a report from Capgemini revealed how consumers across 16 mature and developing markets see the future of physical stores.

Over half (51%) of the 16,000 participants expect that, by 2020, many physical stores will exist primarily as showrooms, places to display products available for order by various other channels. Respondents from developing markets were more likely to hold this belief while a third of consumers in more mature markets think so.

Tags: ecommerce, in-store, mobile marketing, mobile trends, retail, retail sales, showrooming

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