Showrooming May Not Be the Retailer Challenge

It appears much of the retail action relating to mobile is likely to happen in the actual store.

Going through the lengthy annual global shopping survey by PWC, two particular findings strike me as pointing to key opportunities and challenges for retailers.

On the positive side, showrooming may be less of an issue than some perceive with consumers finding shopping at a physical store attractive. The top reasons were the ability to see, touch and try products followed by getting the product immediately.

The findings are based on a survey of more than 11,000 shoppers in 11 different countries in search of insights for retailers and packaged goods companies.

The majority of consumers actually use physical stores for both research and purchasing the products they want to buy, according to the study.

On the negative side, the study found that the center of the shopping universe is shifting from retailers to manufacturers. This means that while the consumer may come to the physical store, they still may pull out their phone and buy directly from the company making the product.



The main reason consumers buy directly from a brand or manufacturer were found to be lower price, full range or more choices and brand loyalty.

Retailers have an edge by providing better experience, customization/personalization, better service and good stock availability.

So while price matching may deter some of the direct selling by manufacturers, the in-store experience is what gives retailers a potential advantage.

This could be a competitive race between retailers and manufacturers/brands to interact and engage with the in-store, mobile shopper. At least it looks like they will still be there to interact with.


4 comments about "Showrooming May Not Be the Retailer Challenge".
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  1. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, February 22, 2013 at 4:57 p.m.

    It's all about the engagement and yes, the tools for it as well, Timo.

  2. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, February 23, 2013 at 8:48 a.m.

    Don't believe that many consumers are switching their buying from stores to manufacturers. (1) Many manufacturers are overseas e.g. in China and while shoppers can buy direct it's rather challenging, (2) If I want to buy e.g. bread, butter and jelly to make a sandwich, it is much simpler and cheaper to buy from a single local store than from three separate manufacturers. Presumably the survey results have been mis-reported.

  3. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, February 23, 2013 at 10:12 a.m.

    The study's mention of manufacturers/brands refers to the actual companies' products, such as CPG products, not the actual physical producers of the products. Hope this clarifies any misunderstanding, though the study results were reported correctly.

  4. Madeleine Forrer from NRTC, February 25, 2013 at 9:41 a.m.

    It's also important to realize that with so many different versions and features available, its not unusual for it to be difficult to find flavor/feature set you want. So buy online keeps you from having to go store to store. Department stores do this by offering to locate an item you like in your size and having it shipped to you. I don't know if other retailers do that as effectively.

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