A new study by mobile marketing technology provider Vibes says retailers can combat showrooming using mobile marketing tactics. That’s the good news.
The bad news: While 89 percent of consumers want some sort of personalized mobile communications from brands and retailers while in-store, only 18 percent see personalization from retailers and brands.
Showrooming, or the act of using a mobile device to compare prices or even purchase items from another retailer while in a brick-and-mortar store, is becoming increasingly popular with today’s empowered shopper. Since 2012, the number of consumers who purchased a product from a competitor while in a retail store increased 156 percent. Vibes’ study also found that 44 percent of consumers showroom frequently, 36 percent use their mobile devices to shop more in-store than they did two years ago, and 50 percent have looked up a product review and/or prices on a competitor’s Web site while shopping in a retail store.
“Last year showrooming was an emerging trend, and this year it’s a real threat to brands and retailers,” said Jack Philbin, founder of Vibes, in an interview with CMO.com. “It’s no longer about combatting showrooming. It’s about finding the way to best absorb the impact and harness your relationship with the customer.”
The best way to harness the relationship and ensure consumers are buying from you when they are in your store, Philbin said, is personalized mobile messaging and communications. Vibes’ study found that after consumers compare prices on their phones while in-store, 47 percent move onto complete a transaction, 45 percent go elsewhere to purchase items, and 7 percent do not make purchases.
“This shows that retailers have about a 50/50 chance against showrooming,” Philbin said. “And with the holidays coming up, retailers have a big opportunity to use personalized mobile marketing strategies that deliver relevant and timely content to consumers.”
The study’s findings all suggest that retailers can drive purchases with personalized mobile messaging. Among those consumers who either texted or scanned a QR code to get more information or a special in-store deal, 42 percent said doing so made them feel better about the purchases they made. However, 40 percent—up from 14 percent in 2012—made a purchase they had not planned on making beforehand because of this information.
The fact that 89 percent of people want mobile personalization, but only 18 percent believe brands and retailers are delivering is a “wakeup call to CMOs,” Philbin said. “Showrooming is part of the shopper’s DNA. There’s no getting away from it, so you’ve got to embrace it.”