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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 30, 2014

Webrooming parents heading to physical stores for back-to-school purchases

A survey by Accenture reveals that physical stores remain popular with parents when it comes to embarking on their kids' back-to-school shopping spree.

by Helen Leggatt

According to Accenture's managing director, Dave Richards, any notion that physical stores are dying "is not borne out" by the results of a recent survey in which 500 parents of kindergarten- to college-age children were questioned about where they would be purchasing back to school products.

In fact, 89% of parents said they would be visiting stores to save on delivery charges and also to get their hands on a product before making a purchase decision.

However, the stores they visit will largely be determined by online searches, or 'webrooming', to help them determine a store's pricing and inventory.

Checking to see whether a store had an item in stock was the primary reason given for webrooming (47%), closely followed by avoiding shipping costs (43%), handling a product before purchase (43%) and asking stores to match lower prices found elsewhere (33%).

"The fact that the majority of parents we surveyed plan to participate in webrooming underscores the significance of having a consistent and convenient experience across all retail touchpoints," says Richards. "Customers have to have the current information at their fingertips. Retailers need to look at how to integrate interactive experiences that connect in-store shopping experiences with omnichannel capabilities."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: back to school tips, brick-and-mortar, ecommerce, online shopping, webrooming

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