March 04, 2013 | Eric Head

Showrooming: Not as Bad as You Think


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In today’s multi-channel, multi-device world, company leaders need to consider that a customer’s store experience can affect other channels in the company and vice versa. For example, over the last few years the term “showrooming” has become a popular industry buzz word. Showrooming simply means that some customers are coming to the store to look at the merchandise in person (the “showroom”) but then shopping online (often via mobile) to get a better price through a competitor.

Sound perilous?   Our research shows that showrooming isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Research from ForeSee: Showrooming Isn't as bad as you thinkAlthough almost a quarter of store purchasers measured reported using their mobile phone while in a retail store during the 2012 holiday shopping season, most of them (almost 80%) did so to either access that company’s website or mobile shopping app. Only 42% reported having accessed either a competitor’s website or app, and 21% a comparison shopping site such as or

Is showrooming something business leaders need to watch? Absolutely.  But storefront retailers shouldn’t look at this as a sign of adversity, but rather as an opportunity to convert their shoppers into long-term, loyal customers by providing a better experience (both in-store and mobile) for them.

Our research shows that those who did travel to a competitor site/app or shopping comparison site were less satisfied (75 and 76 respectively) with their in-store experience compared to those who stayed in a company channel (78). This means there was probably something that went wrong during the visit to make them switch. And, if that is the case, something probably could have been done to avoid it, or there is something that can be done to fix it.

Smart retailers today are aware that consumers hold all of the power in the relationship – they can interact with the brand anytime from anywhere with a multitude of devices. And with low to no switching costs to them, consumers will leave without a second thought to find a company that will meet their expectations.

It comes down to retailers understanding the needs and expectations of its own multi-channel customer. By using a precise and accurate measurement with predictive capabilities across all channels and devices can help pinpoint trouble areas, give insight into how to resolve issues, and provide intelligence to help make better strategic, tactical and operational decisions.

Categories: ForeSee Products,Retail

About the Author

ForeSee | Eric Head

As Senior Director, Sales Eric leads ForeSee’s business development efforts in the Midwest, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions. With more than 20 years’ experience managing advanced technology products and programs, he has played a key role in the company’s strategic growth, including helping ForeSee expand into the European market as well as launching ForeSee’s offline business. Prior to joining ForeSee, Eric was director of automotive programs for Internet Operations Center, a leading regional Internet applications service provider. There, he brought new Internet and e-commerce applications and solutions to the automotive industry. Eric earned a B.S. in marketing from the Miami University-Oxford and an MBA with distinction from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

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