Showrooming ‘rife’ in the UK, says Microsoft


Showrooming is rife in the UK for ‘considered‘ purchases with 42 per cent looking at electronic goods in-store before buying online from a different retailer, compared to 27 per cent in the US, says research from Microsoft.

The findings, which surveyed 6,000 consumers across the UK, US, China, Canada and Brazil, revealed 36 per cent look in-store before buying online from the same retailer.

Brits are much more decisive in their shopping journey – when shopping for electronics, 77 per cent visit only the area they originally set out to look at, compared to 59 per cent in US. In the US, 14 per cent browse the whole store before buying, compared to 6 per cent in the UK.

UK consumers are much less impulsive in-store – 81 per cent buy only the electronic item they went in for and nothing else, compared to 57 per cent in US (where 34 per cent buy other electronics after buying what they actually wanted in the first place.)

Natasha Hritzuk, senior director of consumer insights at Microsoft offered five top tips for marketers to get ahead of the showrooming trend.

Embrace ‘Show-Rooming:’

Make it easy for consumers to see value beyond price with side-by-side comparisons of product features, reviews and expert opinions that enable them to compare and eliminate for what fits their needs.

Let consumers invite you in:

Drive enrichment within digital environments through sight, sound and motion, as well as natural user-interfaces across every screen.

Mind the gaps:

Don‘t lose the consumer in the hand-off from digital to the physical world. Capture consumer habits and preferences online that offer a clear value to consumers. Then, leverage permissioned data to deliver personal experiences at each step of the journey.

Curate in-store experiences:

Pull brand expression into the store with more interactive experiences. Set up areas where consumers can test and experience products outside of the packaging. Encourage them to interact through in-store touch screens that amplify the product features and benefits, include access to reviews, expert ratings and in-store recommendations at every point in the process, across every screen.

Make Pricing Fluid:

Transform rewards cards, coupons and gift cards into integrated branded currency. Pricing should be fluid and promotions should be contextually relevant and personal so consumers can combine, keep track and use them at the time and place that makes sense for them.