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.


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  1. schwartzster says:

    Stupid name, but I think the concept is spot-on. “Webrooming” is going to become even more common now that many retailers will match Amazon’s prices and Amazon is going to have to start charging sales tax everywhere.

  2. JoeBlow says:

    I’ve done things like this, in instances where I either want a product immediately, or don’t necessarily trust the item to be shipped without damage. Of course, given that I have an amazon prime membership, there would usually have to be little to no price difference. Incidentally, I have also found returns for damaged or defective merchandise to be simplified when purchasing from a retailer that has physical locations, even when purchasing online. I’ve ordered items from best buy and gamestop, and when either the incorrect product arrived, or the video game console ordered was DOA, I was able to swing by a retail location before work, and return or exchange the item with no fuss.

  3. SuperSpeedBump says:

    Ugh, do we really need to come up with another name for “shopping”?

  4. SirJanes says:

    We do it quite a bit. We know what we want. Use the web to locate it. Then go buy it at the store.

    But that name, whatever you call it, that is ugly.

  5. C0Y0TY says:

    It’s already called browsing.

  6. jdgr says:

    I’ve always called it research — as in “I have been researching online to figure out which [whatever item] to purchase.”