More shoppers are using the practice of showrooming to find the best deals on goods.
The act of showrooming has become an increasingly popular method of making purchases for UK shoppers over the last year, but is a trend retailers are hoping to tackle through a more focused mcommerce strategy.
Showrooming is the practice of consumers entering shops to browse goods but then heading online to find the best deals on items and purchase them using their smartphones or other portable devices.
According to new research published as part of the latest Mobile Consumer Report from Vibes, there has been a 156 per cent growth in showrooming among UK buyers over the last year.
Jack Philbin, co-founder and chief executive officer of Vibes, commented: “The antidote to showrooming is creating contextually relevant and personalised mobile experiences that motivate and influence consumers to take notice and make purchases.
“If retailers don’t establish personalised mobile strategies, they’ll increasingly face unengaged consumers who will continue to browse in-store and buy online from competitors.”
Indeed, Jannike Ohsten of Hallam Internet recently posted on Business 2 Community how SMS marketing could be a great way for retailers to personalise the retail experience for consumers, giving them up-to-date info on in-store deals while they are out and about.
She noted 95 per cent of all SMS messages sent to consumers by retailers are opened, whereas the use of email, apps and mobile-optimised websites are only applicable to those with an internet connection and may not be opened when consumers are in-store, if at all.
According to Vibe’s report, 47 per cent of consumers who admitted to showrooming in the last year said they completed transactions for the goods they were browsing in-store, while 45 per cent went elsewhere to make the purchase and seven per cent said they did not buy at all.
Overall, almost half of all respondents to the survey (44 per cent) said they regularly look up the prices of items they are considering buying via their mobile devices when shopping in-store – a significant increase from 2012 when just 33 per cent said they did this.
It is therefore a growing practice among a more tech-savvy group of consumers and one retailers will want to keep an eye on.
Vibes made a number of recommendations in its report to quell the fears of businesses seeking to drive sales, including the provision of more personalised text services when consumers are out and about.
Overall, the study showed 89 per cent of shoppers would sign up to mobile messaging if it was more personalised and relative to their shopping experience at the time. However, it revealed just 18 per cent of consumers feel businesses are currently making efforts in this area.
Furthermore, the use of QR codes to receive additional item information and the latest deals on items was supported by 42 per cent of respondents – up from 14 per cent last year – while 60 per cent of consumers wish to see mobile content delivered by retailers targeted at their specific interests and purchases.
It found this is the most important aspect of personalisation strategies, ensuring consumers receive additional information on their favourite shopping categories, brands and sizes.