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Webrooming? Showrooming? What's the difference?

Showrooming and Webrooming What Are They?

Based on Newton's studies there is a saying that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and that is at least partly true when it comes to showrooming and webrooming. With the birth of online stores many people who were looking for products they wanted at a good price would take part in a shopping activity that became known as showrooming.

In the last few years, showrooming has seen a slight decrease and a new way of shopping known as webrooming has become increasingly popular. So what is showrooming and webrooming and how do shoppers use these two activities to get the best deals and shopping experiences possible?

What is Showrooming

Showrooming is the shopping practice where consumers visit offline or brick or motar stores and examine or test out products they are interested in and then leave the store and purchase the items online. This practice began because online stores offered the same merchandise as brick at motar stores at lower prices and shoppers were looking to get the best value possible for their money.

Studies have suggested that 40% of consumers have engaged in showrooming with big box stores such as Best Buy, Target, and Walmart being hit the hardest and online businesses such as Amazon benefiting the most.

What is Webrooming

Webrooming is the exact opposite of showrooming and is the practice where shoppers research merchandise online and then actually buy the products in a brick and mortar store. While webrooming hasn't quite reach the popularity of showrooming it has been gaining ground with 90% of the consumers who engage in showrooming also admit that they also engage in shopping by webrooming.

There are several reasons why people engage in webrooming including:

  • They don't want to pay the additional delivery fees, which can sometimes make online products more expensive than purchasing from brick and mortar stores.
  • Consumers don't want to wait for their merchandise to be delivered, and in brick and mortar stores they can get the merchadise immediately.
  • Consumers find it is easier to return merchandise to a brick and mortar store than to have to ship back to an online company.

Since the 2008 recession, shoppers have begun to carefully consider their finances and to spend a little extra time when shopping to make sure that they get the best value for their money. That means that many shoppers use both showrooming and webrooming to not only get those good deals, but also to enhance their overall shopping experience.

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