Survey highlights retailers' attitudes to 'showrooming'
A new study has revealed that retailers appear to be divided over whether to help or discourage the practice of showrooming where shoppers view items in-store, check prices on their mobiles then buy the items online.
The survey of 1,000 UK shoppers by retail and shopper creative agency Live & Breathe, found that 13% of respondents said that store staff did not seem to care if shoppers were found to be ‘showrooming’ in stores.
Furthermore, only 8% of respondents said that shop staff tried to make them buy there and then by offering a deal, while another 8% said staff were awkward and unhelpful.
Stores in London were found to be the most mobile-friendly with only 3% of retail staff in the capital being unhelpful to 'showrooming' shoppers.
The study also found that vouchers and discount coupons were the most in-demand mobile technology for modern shoppers with 27% of respondents saying they would like to see them, followed by 21% who would like to be able to access more product details.
Just one in five respondents said they would like free wi-fi to browse the internet while in-store, and only 17% would like stores to provide technology to enable them to pay immediately without queuing at a till.
Nick Gray, managing director of Live & Breathe, said: “The use of mobiles and the role they play in ‘showrooming’ is an issue that seems to come up at every retail conference I attend. It’s not going to go away and retailers need to develop strategies to cope with it. Best Buy in the US has led the way with its pragmatic response.
“Retailers can and should take steps to encourage shoppers to buy with them in-store rather than with another retailer via their mobiles. But they must accept too that mobile phones are now an intrinsic part of shoppers’ everyday lives and that any draconian action to block their use in-store would not work in the longer term.
“Shoppers don’t seem to be too fussed about being able to pay more quickly, which is interesting given the investment by many retailers into contactless payment. Shoppers remain savvy, shown by the fact almost a third would like to be given a money-off coupon that they can use there and then, and is indicative of the current climate and the way we’re shopping.”
Shoppers were also asked how they complained if they had a bad retail experience. Nearly half (44%) said they would immediately complain to staff, while 18% said they would register their complaint by email. In addition, 13% of respondents said they would tell their friends about their bad experience.
However, only 4% of shoppers said they would complain on Facebook and only 2% would use Twitter.
Gray added: “Most UK shoppers know that retail is a sophisticated industry and are no longer willing to accept below-par service. Although retailers need an active social media presence to manage complaints, those who deal with issues quickly and decisively in-store are even better placed to leave a good impression in the minds of shoppers.”
Hear the latest mobile retailing strategies and network with like-minded peers at the Retail Bulletin’s 3rd Mobile Retailing Summit, 24th September 2013. Speakers confirmed so far include The Body Shop, Domino’s Pizza Group, John Lewis, Asda, IMRG, Mobileweb Company, Economist Intelligence Unit. Click here for programme details and registration.
Email this article to a friend
You need to be logged in to use this feature.
Please log in here