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Showroomers are a retailer's secret weapon: study


Showroomers exhibit more loyal behavior than non-showroomers, making them an ideal target for retailers, according to a study from Aimia, a loyalty management firm.

Retail showrooming occurs when consumers browse for items in-store before using their smartphones to find a lower price online.

The behaviour is propelled by millennials (consumers aged about 19 to 29) with three quarters of U.S. showroomers coming from that generation.

However, according to Aimia's "Through the Looking Glass" study, showroomers are also active participants in loyalty and reward programs, making them an undervalued consumer audience for retailers.

"Showroomers are more likely to participate in loyalty programs, are more willing to trade personal details for rewards, and are more interested in mobile commerce," said Rick Ferguson, vice-president of knowledge development at Aimia. "Retailers should take advantage of these behaviours to transform showroomers to become loyal – and paying – customers."

The study's results suggest retailers have an opportunity to harness showroomers' willingness to engage in reward program memberships.

Aimia's research shows the typical American showroomer is male, owns at least two digital devices, is active in social media, and is excited by mobile commerce.

Other findings include that showroomers are 67 per cent more likely than non-showroomers to participate in a travel reward program membership; 20 per cent more likely than non-showroomers to participate in a retail reward program membership and three times more likely than non-showroomers to respond to a location-based mobile offer.

"The solution to embracing showrooming behavior lies in retailers leveraging their shopping data to get consumer insights that will help shape their marketing strategies and drive in-store purchases, " said Ferguson.

Retailers can influence showroomers by inviting them to join their rewards program with a rich bonus offer on their first purchase; identifying showroomers within the upper tier of their most valuable customers, offering exclusive access, special benefits, experiential rewards, location-based offers and other privileges; and providing a showrooming app through their own loyalty program that holds on to customer insights.

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