Remember standing in a store, waiting to buy something but then cross-checking the cost online?
Or planning to buy a new gadget and using the compare feature of a website to compare different models?
Congratulations! You have been WEBROOMED!
Lately, the digital world is going through tremendous changes that are turning out to be unexpected. Generations are having transitional phases in their lifestyle as a result of digitalization. While e-commerce websites were made to bring in the concept of online shopping, there seems to be a new paradigm shift: Browsing online and buying in-store.
According to a survey, around 70% of the consumers browsing online were found to be webrooming. Besides, this case study also shows that this webrooming consisted of 58% of appliances, 54% of electronics, and 49% of apparels. Indeed, an excellent user experience strategy is doing the magic.
However, have you as a retailer or seller implemented webrooming strategies? While most of us have already embraced social distancing as a new way of life, window shopping and other ways of impulse buying are simply going to take a back seat. The best way to counter this is webrooming. With smartphones becoming a part of our bodies, webrooming is more accessible than ever.
Webrooming or reverse-showrooming is a process in which one initially experiences a product online before buying it from a brick and mortar store. So basically, it’s the virtual experience of a product before physically buying it from a store. The exact reverse of this is SHOWROOMING: Feel the product in a brick and mortar store before you buy it either in-store or online.
Be it a smartphone or a watch, users have stopped buying it without reading and researching more about it online. Not just their own websites, but popular stores on Esty and dedicated micro-sites for brands on Amazon have all made webrooming easier.
With that being said, this has brought back the lost hope for retailers since the debut of e-commerce had put brick-mortar stores on the back seat.
This is a chance for brands and retailers to capitalize their stores and supply chains and make the best out of this opportunity where the consumers have shifted back to making the purchase in-store.
Moreover, physically buying in-store comes with a lot of advantages that many fail to recognise. Remember desperately waiting for that thing you ordered online? Only to realize that it would be a waste buy a day before the delivery? We, as humans are psychologically impatient and cannot wait to lay our hands on something new that we have ordered or desired. At the same time, this waiting period also triggers us to research more about the product, assess our need for it, etc. only to regret the purchase and cancel the order if possible.
All of these risks can be eliminated with an added benefit of extra user-satisfaction by instant procurement!
Thus, in the current scenario, webrooming becomes one’s instant bet to bank on an impulse purchase, add a personal touch to convert a lead, and trigger sales in the current pandemic world of social distancing and delayed deliveries.
If you are wondering how webrooming can be implemented in your organization, here are some examples that might just inspire you:
1. Take an example of your own house. If you wanted to buy furniture, you could just place the shortlisted furniture in the virtual layout/ photograph of your space and judge its suitability.
2. LensKart has had this feature for many years. Let the app map your face and enjoy virtual trials of how a pair of glasses would fit your face. Like it? Get it delivered to your home or pick it up from the nearest LensKart store.
3. We don’t call Virtual Reality the next big thing for nothing. Multiple real estate firms have now started using VR gadgets like Google Lens to give potential buyers a taste of the space. Only if one shortlists or like a particular space, they will walk in and make a purchase. This has also lowered the time and cost taken to convert a lead.
In fact, we think this will soon be implemented at holiday spaces like resorts and hotels too!
4. The most jugad way of webrooming? Clothing stores like Central and Lifestyle now give their customers a virtual tour of the mall on a one-to-one video call where the buyer can choose to purchase whatever they like and pick from the store.
While this service is currently offered on WhatsApp, we believe that it would do wonders if implemented in a better way. You ask how? Create a mobile app or website with a similar feature but an added feature of ‘add to cart’ on the go.
Webrooming is the future.
With the practices of social distancing and ever-increasing usage of the internet, webrooming is one assured way of converting leads and triggering sales.
Which other brands according to you are practising webrooming? How are they doing it?
Let us know in the comments.
FAQs For Webrooming
What are Webrooming and Showrooming?
Webrooming or reverse-showrooming is a process in which one initially experiences a product online before buying it. So basically, it’s the virtual experience of a product before physically buying it from a store
What are the benefits of Webrooming?
The benefits of Webrooming are that customers can view products online similarly to retail stores, This proves convenient for the users.
What is the Showrooming effect?
The Showrooming effect is where a customer can view the products before purchasing the product at an E-store.