Today’s consumers have the option to interact with a brand online or in person. While it might seem like more people are opting to do their shopping from the comfort of their couch, that’s actually a misconception. In fact, nearly 90% of revenue generated in retail in 2019 will come from in-person purchases.
But that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t paying attention to your brand online. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to research a product online and then go to a brick-and-mortar store to make the final purchase. This phenomenon has been dubbed webrooming, and it’s something you need to consider when you think about how you structure your retail business.
What is Webrooming, and Why Do People Do It?
There are a lot of benefits to researching products online. For one, it gives consumers access to endless product possibilities. Whether they’re looking for something obscure or simply the best version of a common item, a quick internet search can give them a basic sense of price, availability, and how many options they have.
However, there are reasons consumers prefer to make the final purchase in person. Once they’ve done their initial research online, they want to see, touch, and try the product before they commit. Purchasing in-person also allows them to avoid shipping fees. Others need the product immediately and don’t want to wait for it to arrive in the mail.
Invest in Your Online Presentation
The key to successful webrooming is to put your best foot forward online. Online browsers are looking to differentiate your product from lots of other competitors, so you should give them as much information about your fantastic products as possible.
Include several photos of each product along with a detailed description. Reviews are also an essential component of webrooming. Consumers are trying to get a sense of how others felt about their purchase, so including reviews on product pages is a great way to get ahead of your competitors that don’t include that information.
Make the Transition from Online to In-Person Seamless
After someone has webroomed, make it as easy as possible for them to come in and find the product in-person. Some businesses offer an “order online, pick up in-person” option, which drives those webroomers to commit while they’re still online, with the understanding that they can still see the product in-person before their credit card is charged.
In addition, make it easy for online browsers to find your business in real life. Make sure your location is clearly displayed and that your contact information and hours are up-to-date. They can’t come in and buy in-person if they don’t know where you are!
Create a Great In-Person Experience
Once you get consumers into your brick-and-mortar location, you have an amazing opportunity to make a meaningful connection. Personalization is still hugely important in marketing and sales today. What better way to personalize an experience than to have a friendly, well-trained staff ready to greet consumers and answer any detailed product questions they might have?
These consumers have come into your store to see how your product looks and functions “in the wild,” so think about how you can best display that side of your product. Creating engaging displays, videos or in-person demonstrations of more complex products, and other opportunities to test drive a product before they commit to their purchase are great ways to win over business.
Finally, offering little in-store perks can add another level of personalization. Things like water or treats, or even something as simple as free WiFi, can make a strong impression.
Webrooming gives consumers the best of both worlds. They can see the full range of options available to them, then give their top choice a try in-person before they make their final purchase. When you set your business up to cater to and even encourage this style of buying, you can edge out your competition that doesn’t know how webrooming lets you integrate the online and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.