A study by Euromonitor International, showing that a growing number of in-store shoppers are searching for product information on the brand’s mobile website rather than asking sales staff, which indicates the rise of “showrooming”.
Euromonitor surveyed 6,200 consumers in 15 countries and found that 35% of them use their mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to check a brand’s website while in a store, with only 30% talking to the salespeople.
However, this trend does not apply universally. For example, consumers in emerging markets, like Brazil, Colombia and India, prefer the human touch, but, in developed countries, especially the UK and Japan, consumers are three times more likely to seek information on a website on their mobile device rather than speaking to the sales staff in a physical store.
China is showing the highest tendency to check online for information while in-store, with more than half of the polled being likely to do that against less than 40% of the surveyed communicating with the salesperson.
In an attempt to attract customers, some retailers have introduced in-store kiosks, but as the survey showed, that did not prove very popular, with only 16% saying they have used one. Those scanning QR codes were less than 10%, but this practice turned out to be very common in emerging countries like India and China. More than 40% of consumers in developed markets have never used the scanning technology to get the product details.
As a result of the poll, Euromonitor advised physical stores to improve technology and the overall shopping experience to meet shoppers’ demand.