Showrooming to Play Huge Role in Holiday Shopping, Survey Says

       

       

NEW YORK-The majority of consumers (56 percent) responding to a survey by Accenture said they are likely to participate in “showrooming”—finding products in a brick-and-mortar store, and then searching for the best price for those products online and buying them online—this holiday season.

In addition, 27 percent of the respondents to the company’s annual Holiday Shopping Survey said they would likely make the online purchase, using their smart phone or tablet computer, while they are still out shopping.

Noting that showrooming has become “a very real phenomenon,” Chris Donnelly, managing director of Accenture’s retail practice, added that brick-and-mortar retailers can compete with, and even win over, pure online retailers. “Consumers don’t just want to shop online,” Donnelly said. “They want a simple and seamless shopping experience that offers them convenience and value.”

Donnelly went on to say that some traditional retailers have begun efforts to counteract showrooming, including price-matching programs. However, “they must also strengthen their customer service and product availability in order to really fight back,” he said.

The survey found that consumers will spend an average of $582 on holiday shopping this season. Sixty-three percent of the respondents said they would spend the same on their holiday shopping versus last year.

Accenture’s study also revealed that the concerns of holiday shoppers last year have lessened heading into this year’s holiday season. Fewer consumers (24 percent versus 34 percent last year) said they are spending the same because living expenses have increased, and fewer consumers (23 percent versus 30 percent in 2011) were concerned about the economy. Also, fewer consumers (30 percent versus 34 percent) believe they have less discretionary income this year.