"Consumers have become used to the things they can do online, and expect to be able to do them in-store" said Renato Scaff, managing director of Accenture's retail practice. Scaff said features like in-stock availability and customer reviews are just two types of information offered online that aren't necessarily readily available at the in-store level.
This past holiday season, Best Buy marketed itself as the "showrooming" retailer, effectively inviting customers to come in, check out the goods and then order them online. The hope, of course, was that shoppers would either change their minds and buy in-store on the spot or order from the retailer's own website. While some thought it was bold and forward-thinking for the consumer electronics retailer to embrace the phenomenon, perhaps it was already behind the curve.
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Accenture said "showrooming" is losing its hold on shoppers, it's actually "webrooming" that's all the rage. Accenture defines "webrooming" as browsing online and then going to a physical location to make a purchase, and "showrooming" as going into a physical store to see a product and then going online for a better price and ordering it from the Web.
The study said 78 percent of U.S. shoppers have "webroomed" over the past 12 months, while 72 percent have "showroomed."
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When further divided by category, webrooming for consumer electronics and home improvement purchases saw large jumps over last year, up from 39 percent to 48 percent, and 25 percent to 35 percent, respectively.