Emerging retail trend: browse online, buy in store
As merchants streamline their multichannel store operations and focus on enhancing the customer experience, many shoppers are choosing to return to stores to make their purchases. Even if they first browse online, consumers sometimes prefer to buy products in stores, where they can see the item and maybe try it on before completing the transaction. This trend, which Accenture calls "webrooming," demonstrates how integrated retail marketing approaches are changing the way customers shop.
"Today's shopper expects to be able to shop easily across different channels to fulfill their shopping mission. In fact, it is expected that well over half of retail sales will be influenced by online and mobile, regardless of where the ultimate purchase is made," said Renato Scaff, executive partner of Accenture, according to MSNBC.
Accenture's study found that 78 percent of shoppers have looked at product information online and then purchased an item from a physical store location. In addition to the in-store experience, shoppers were motivated to purchase off-line if stores had the items stocked so they could take them home on the same day instead of waiting for delivery. The study emphasized the importance of seamless retail marketing for customers, who want to be able to choose how and where they purchase products without feeling a difference between channels.