Retail Marketing Makeover: Embrace the Webrooming Trend to Increase Retail Sales

As a local business owner, you may have worried that your brick-and-mortar location would suffer as consumers turn to the internet for their shopping needs. But with a retail marketing makeover, you can harness the power of online shopping trends to convert brick-and-mortar shoppers.

One trend in particular that every business owner should address in their marketing strategy is an increasingly prevalent phenomenon known as “webrooming”. This is when shoppers begin researching and comparing products online, but head to an actual store location to make their final purchase.

Recent studies on modern consumer shopping trends have found:

  • 88% of people begin their shopping online, but buy in a brick-and-mortar store location
  • 80% of local searches on phones convert into purchases.
  • 75% of those purchases occur at a physical store and on the same day
  • Webrooming will result in an estimated $1.8 trillion in sales by 2017, compared to an estimated $370 billion in ecommerce sales

The rise of webrooming presents a tremendous opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers to grow their business and increase sales through a retail marketing makeover. To take advantage of this trend, your business must develop a strategy that expands customer access to information about your products online, while retaining control over the shopping process by emphasizing your store as their ultimate destination.

Why Does Webrooming Work?

Why is webrooming so effective? There are several reasons customers tend to favor making purchases at physical locations – even when online prices are cheaper.

The tactile experience. The ability to see, touch, or feel a product is part of the emotional reward of the shopping experience.

Instant gratification. Customers don’t like the idea of having to wait days or weeks for their product to arrive.

Shipping cost and hassles. Customers frequently cite shipping costs as a reason they prefer to make a purchase in-store rather than online. Similarly, consumers don’t want to deal with shipping hassles if they decide to return the item.

Connection and trust. Many customers are willing to pay a bit more to make a purchase at a business they know and trust. As a local business, you have the advantage of being able to have a strong presence in your local community as well as online.

The appearance of the web-supported consumer and the increasing prevalence of webrooming can be a boon for your business—not a drawback.  Your retail marketing makeover should focus on building a stronger presence for your business both online and in your community, ensuring that you can connect with customers at all stages of the buying process. 

Want to read more about webrooming? Check out my recent article on Independent Retailer.

Shepard Morrow is the head of Location Traffic, an internet marketing and business consulting company on the east coast. He has 25 years of experience in wholesale, manufacturing, and retail and has helped many businesses increase their sales through online marketing makeovers. To learn more, download his free white paper, “Harness the Power of Webrooming to Convert Brick-and-Mortar Shoppers,” visit LocationTraffic.com, or call 609-737-8667. 

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