Retailers have even more to be concerned about in their competition with online firms than consumers’ use of showrooming to learn about products in the store and then buy online for lower prices.
According to research from the Kellogg School at Northwestern, people shop online for more reasons than lower prices: “Results from the annual Kellogg Shopper Index are in, and the findings on ‘showrooming’ — browsing for merchandise in a retail store, then ordering the items online — are sure to give retailers something to think about. Many showrooming shoppers are not driven there by price alone, but by an unsatisfactory in-store experience. Supported by the Kellogg Center for Global Marketing Practice, the Kellogg Shopper Index is a national survey that collects data from an online panel of more than 1,900 participants. The purpose of the index is to develop a comprehensive model of consumer spending behavior and explore the psychological and financial factors that determine how and what people buy. This year’s survey found that 59 percent of participating shoppers said they received poor or average service in the stores where they’d recently shopped. Among shoppers who said they engaged in showrooming, 40 percent reported that they actually never intended to buy online, but they were driven there after experiencing poor customer service and support in stores.”
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