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Browsing 'Showroomers' May Be Retailers' Best Friends

e-commerce, mobile commerce, m-commerce, bricks and mortar retailers, mobile shopping, showrooming . / Credit: Showrooming image via Shutterstock

Showroomers — consumers who browse for items in-store before using their smartphone to find a better deal online — may actually be a retailer's best friend, a new survey suggests. They are more likely to participate in loyalty programs, are more willing to trade personal details for rewards, and are more interested in mobile commerce. Retailers should take advantage of these behaviors to transform showroomers to become loyal, paying customers, experts say.

Showroomers' greater willingness to engage in reward program memberships make them an undervalued consumer audience for retailers, according to a survey of more than 2,000 adults 19 and older sponsored by Aimia, a loyalty management company. The typical showroomer is male, owns at least two digital devices, is active in social media and is excited about mobile commerce.

The typical American showroomer is also two-thirds more likely than a nonshowroomer to participate in a travel reward membership program and 20 percent more likely than a nonshowroomer to participate in a retail reward membership program.

The real payoff for savvy retailers is that showroomers are also three times more likely than nonshowroomers to respond to a location-based mobile offer, which can be the real payoff for savvy retailers.

Retailers can influence showroomers by leveraging the tools of loyalty management, Aimia said. These include using hard benefits to reward desired behavior, such as offering in-house showroomers an opportunity to join a rewards program with a rich bonus offer on their first purchase.

"The solution to embracing showrooming behavior lies in retailers leveraging their shopping data to get consumer insights that will help shape their marketing strategies and drive in-store purchases," said Rick Ferguson, Aimia's vice president for knowledge development. "The tools of loyalty management provide unparalleled insight that can help retailers reinvent retail and build stronger relationships with consumers."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.