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Cost of Showrooming to Bricks and Mortar Retailers Revealed

14 November 2019 - 14:36 by Simon Crisp

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A study from RetailChoice suggests that high street outlets are missing out on £18 billion in potential sales because customers are visiting outlets with the sole intention of seeing products in person before ordering them via safe shopping online.

Three-quarters of consumers from the UK confirm that the practice of ‘showrooming’ is something that they have participated in at some point, which is bad news for stores that only exist in a bricks and mortar format.

32 per cent of respondents to the report said that they made monthly excursions to the high street for the purpose of showrooming, while around a tenth admitted that this was a weekly pastime.

Annually this equates to spending of almost £500 per customer, which of course means that retailers are losing out on sales while e-commerce sites are making a killing.

Of course, real-world outlets have always been able to offer casual browsing experiences, but with the advent of mobile shopping it is possible for people to compare prices, find a better deal online and then even make a purchase with a rival retailer while they are in the store.

The upshot of this is that it is much harder to convert high street shoppers into paying customers because showrooming is so common.

There are ways to combat this, especially if retailers offer their own e-commerce sites which are prominently promoted throughout the store. This means that visitors will be more likely to check out deals on their smartphones with the same brand rather than looking elsewhere first.

Different product categories evoke different levels of interest from those looking to showroom. For example, furniture is far more likely to be checked out in person than household appliances, meaning that varied tactics are required from retailers.