By Joshua Burton
I hate to say “we told you so,” but…
It looks like the new age of consumers are people who enjoy (GASP!) researching products online before shopping at retail stores. The practice of educating yourself about a product online and then buying it in a store is called “webrooming” and a new study shows that it is a far more common practice than researching at the store and buying online – or “showrooming.”
As you may have noticed from our name, we’re all about webrooming. myWebRoom obviously goes beyond simple product research (since we do link to many product sales pages from our “buy it now” buttons) and lets users place products in their WebRooms along with other items they want or have to also see how certain things match their overall aesthetic.
Anyway, the new study shows that 69% of people smart enough to browse products on their cellphones tend to browse online and then buy in stores. This trend is projected to produce a $6 billion increase in brick-and-mortar retail sales by 2017. That’s a lot of shoes. The burgeoning practice may be the new way of doing things for people increasingly tired of the online-versus-real-world experience with products.
With the internet informing consumers so well, they are expecting more of online retailers and physical stores alike. A growing number of people reported wanting the option to return items to stores and wanted stores to also match online retail prices. This means the era of lax cross-platform (yes, I’m referring to “real life” as a platform now) expectations might be coming to an end. People may start to expect near-identical experiences whether they’re online or literally standing in a shop.
Despite all of these complications (and the name similarity), we’re all sorts of excited about webrooming here at myWebRoom. The platform here allows people to handle products in a virtual way that could easily be a tipping point in the decision to go out and buy an item in a store. Our WebRooms are essentially wish lists for future purchases. And for people who aren’t even interested in purchasing at the moment, we offer a way to have the item in your virtual room for your very own.