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Retailers Expect to Lose Five Per Cent of Sales due to 'Showrooming'

Alex Spencer

During the festive shopping season, 80 percent of retailers expect to be impacted by 'showrooming'  where customers use their mobile devices in-store to compare prices  according to a report from EKN Research, in partnership with eBay Local.

Retailers expect to lose an average of five per cent in sales due to this phenomenon, but only 10 per cent have any strategy in place to combat its effects.

Price matching and improved cross-channel integration emerged in the study as the most effective strategies to counter showrooming, but only 25 percent of respondents had full integration between their store and online channels, and only 15 per cent share their inventory online at all.

"Showrooming is a phenomenon that's here to stay. One in four shoppers used their mobile phones to compare prices while in the store during the 2011 holiday season, and those numbers will only grow," said EKN research director Gaurav Pant. "But the good news is that retailers can put strategies in place to help counter the effects of showrooming by engaging showroomers actively, integrating their online and offline channels, and prioritising their investments to counter showrooming."

It's not all bad news for retailers, though  63 per cent of respondents expect their sales during the Christmas shopping period to show an increase, compared to 2011.