Ask any chess grandmaster, and they’ll tell you winning a match isn’t about planning 20 moves ahead — it’s about strategically reacting to your opponent’s moves. That’s because instead of thinking you know precisely what the other player will do, evaluating and adjusting your strategy as the game unfolds is better.
Your customers aren’t opponents, but you still need to stay aware of their shopping habits and adjust accordingly.
When you consider the global eCommerce market is projected to reach US$8.1 trillion by 2026, up from $5.2 trillion in 2021, it’s clear the way consumers buy products online is evolving. It’s no longer all about going for the sale with your online store.
Webrooming and showrooming are now integral to the modern shopping experience for all retail stores, including eCommerce sites and traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Each describes the modern evolution of the retail experience:
Webrooming is when a customer looks at a product online but buys it in-store.
Showrooming is the opposite. It’s when a customer looks at a product in the store and then buys it online.
Both of these shopping methods are already happening. Ignoring them might mean the second half of the journey (making a purchase) happens with your competitor.
You must have a strong understanding of webrooming and showrooming, then enhance your overall retail experience for shoppers optimizing for both customer journeys.
Keep reading to learn more about these terms and how to update your approach to retain customers and grow your business.
The Psychology Behind Webrooming vs Showrooming
Consumers want to know as much as possible about almost every purchase. Shopping in a physical store gives them the benefit of touching, feeling, trying on, or even smelling a product before making the final decision.
Yet, shopping online gives consumers the benefit of price comparison, reading customer reviews, exploring in-depth expert reviews, and knowing much more about the product than has been traditionally available.
The purpose of offering webrooming and showrooming to your customers is to provide them with what they want, when they want it. This includes helping them to make a well-informed decision, get the best price, and be happy with the products they purchase.
Let’s dive deeper into webrooming and showrooming to understand the concepts in more detail, then explore how to optimize both to generate more sales and create loyal customers.
What is Webrooming
Webrooming is researching a product online and visiting a retail store to make a purchase. Consumers often go this route to get the best of both worlds — make an informed decision and shop online, but still get the product the same day.
One common type of webrooming is the ‘local pickup’ option, that’s become exceedingly popular in recent years. Consumers checkout online, park in front of the store, receive their purchases, and go home.
However, webrooming can also include deciding to buy a specific product, then visiting a few different stores before making the final purchase. You can miss out on sales when consumers go this route, so it’s vital to keep this in mind.
What is Showrooming
Showrooming is the exact opposite of webrooming. Showrooming is when a customer starts the buyer’s journey in a brick-and-mortar store but then decides to make their purchase online.
Similar to webrooming, consumers go this route to get the best of both worlds — but they’re getting different benefits from each world.
Since the consumer already knows they like the product’s look and feel, they want to get the best price while also seeing what other customers and experts say. As a result, they’ll purchase online and are less concerned about getting the product on the same day.
Webrooming vs Showrooming: Optimization Tips For a Unified Marketing Strategy
Now you have a strong grasp of how the modern consumer can take several relatively new routes, from discovering a product to purchasing. The next step is learning key marketing optimization tips to cater to both of these behaviors:
- Utilize and Optimize Google’s Local Inventory Ads (LIA): This search engine marketing program allows approved retailers to submit a local inventory product feed to Google for shoppers to easily find in-stock products at a store in their local area.
- Update Google My Business (GMB) Listings with In-Store Products: Ensure that your GMB profile displays correct in-store product information directly from your LIA feeds. Doing this will help showrooming and webrooming customers by providing them with all the information they need to create a seamless customer experience.
- Have Google Shopping and Google Ads Campaigns for In-Store Products: A showrooming customer may try on a product at your store, then head home to find the best price. When they search for it, make sure you have campaigns running so they find your store first.
It’s essential to optimize for both showrooming and webrooming, to prevent your customers from switching to brands that offer them the most convenient process to do research and make a purchase.
5 Tips to Enhance Your Webrooming and Showrooming Strategy
Webrooming and showrooming might seem at odds with each other, but they’re actually two sides of the same coin. Consider the path-to-purchase routes your customers may take and how to get the best results like:
- Retaining customers by displaying accurate data: All your product pages, feeds, and publicly available product information must be accurate. You risk losing a customer for life if you show a product as in stock, but when they arrive, it’s out of stock.
- Creating urgency by providing the most recent promotion: Are you running a sale on winter wear? Whether a customer is showrooming, webrooming, or opting for the more traditional approaches — they should always be aware of the latest promos. This creates an urgency to purchase now to get the best price.
- Building loyalty with consistency: All consumers appreciate a consistent experience when they interact with a brand. Understand why customers choose your store to begin with, then consistently deliver it online and offline. You’ll build loyal customers who expect and receive the same experience every time.
- Earning more customers with always-accurate data with a feed management platform: Product feeds are necessary for GMB, Google’s LIA, Google Shopping, and many other platforms you may use. In addition, a feed management platform like Highstreet allows for greater product feed optimization to help you achieve all three of the above tips.
- Generating more sales by evaluating and improving product listing pages: Your product listing pages are involved in both showrooming and webrooming. Provide easy-to-read bulleted benefit/feature lists, make necessary details easy to find, and take high-end product photos.
There are more strategies to consider, but the above suggestions will help get you started. From there, evaluate consumer behavior and keep enhancing your online presence to motivate customers to purchase.
Use All Available Tools for Both Webrooming & Showrooming
Now that you know how to use available tools and enhanced product feeds to cater to all customer behaviors, equip your business with the power to drive sales through their preferred purchasing channels. Highstreet.io offers a cutting-edge platform that optimizes product feeds seamlessly, empowering you to adapt to evolving consumer behaviors and stay ahead of the competition.
Our team is dedicated to providing exceptional support and guidance, so you can make the most of our platform and achieve your business goals. With Highstreet.io, you can maximize customer satisfaction and retention by harnessing the full potential of available platforms and enhanced product feeds. Discover how our platform can elevate your business by contacting our team today.