Webrooming Is Showrooming In Reverse, Marketers Pretend That It’s A Thing

Showrooming, as many people who walk into Best Buy stores know, is when customers check out an item in a local store, then turn around and purchase it online at a lower price. What happens if you do the opposite of showrooming, though? What about when you check out a product online, then buy it locally because they have the best price or you’re impatient? One marketing firm thinks that we should call that “Webrooming.”

This will probably not catch on, but bless Interactions Marketing for trying. They performed a study that showed 76% of shoppers have recently tried showrooming, but 88% percent have engaged in webrooming, or the common practice of researching a product online before buying it.

They didn’t specify what webrooming entails: is it something as simple as checking a manufacturer’s website to find out what colors a camera comes in, or doing intensive product research, sifting through professional and user reviews for a variety of opinions?

An executive at the marketing firm explained in a statement why the webrooming experience is important for retailers. The statement contains terrifying jargon like “leveraging omnichannel marketing approaches,” but makes a good point: brands risk “reduced profits and diminished brand loyalty” when they make it difficult to research and effectively compare products online from home, and when the transition from shopping on the site to shopping in-store isn’t seamless.