The following excerpt is from the article 'IBM study says showroomers should be targeted' which was written by Tom Ryan, Managing Editor, for RetailWire. View the full article for further information on IBM's findings.
Although the notorious showroomer makes up only 6 percent of all public buying traffic, they're young, active and influential and should be considered retail's target customers, contends a new study from IBM.
"This is not the enemy," said Jill Puleri, VP and global industry for retail at IBM Global Business Services, at a session during last month's NRF annual convention. "This is your best friend. They're your advocates and you should be bending over backwards to make your experiences worth sharing to them. These are your 'chief executive customers.'"
On showroomers, the study found that 48 percent use the store to research products with no plans of making a purchase. About a quarter plan on making a purchase inside the store but get "turned off" by prices, lack of sales help, etc. and wind up making the purchase later online. A third use mobile devices to search prices and find product information in-store.
On the positive side, 58 percent visit online communities more than once a day and over half write a positive review. They're also typically young, 18 to 34; typically male; affluent; and global, with the largest percent of showroomers in India, China and Japan.
"They are actually incredibly active consumers," said Puleri. "They're social creatures who are very likely to share their opinions with their peers."
The study also found that while brick and mortar still dominated holiday selling this past season, many are considering shifting to online. Of the 84 percent of respondents who said their last purchase was made in a store, 56 percent said they'd "go back to the store" for the next purchase, 35 percent were undecided, and the remaining nine percent were planning to shop online. The last group, labeled "Store Abandoners," tend to also be in the 18-to-34 group and are "are probably not coming back," said Puleri. "Guess which group is likely to dictate the future of retail."
Puleri describes the emerging "Chief Executive Customer" as smart, "emboldened by transparency," "in full control," and "dictating their own terms." For retail, the task is learning "where to look" to communicate with them across the wide space of mobile and social media.
Does your store advertise specifically to showroomers? Share your strategy in the comments section.