Webrooming Is Good News For Hybrid Retailers Such Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)
A trend is building up and it is interesting how it could make plenty of sense for retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT). Webrooming is the trend and it describes the practice of customers searching for items online and buying them from physical stores. With Webrooming, retailers can offset the impact of Showrooming on the businesses. Showrooming involves customers visiting physical stores but doing their actual shopping online. For retailers like Wal-Mart, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and others whose main operations are still in brick-and-mortar stores, Showrooming was sucking their blood.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has made it clear that it doesn’t intend to fold up its physical stores for e-commerce. Instead, the retailer is keen to have robust presence both online and offline. The management of Wal-Mart has already cited that the retailer’s vast physical store network is a key competitive advantage that online pure-play like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) lacks.
Focused on building a hybrid retail format where its operations are as vibrant offline as they are online, Webrooming should be good news for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT). It is expected that Webrooming will explode this holiday season as customers find items online and head to stores to buy them.
The proliferation of smartphones combined with growing interest in store experience is expected to drive Webrooming not just during festive seasons but all the time. According to analysts at eMarketer, although fewer people visit stores these days, they tend to buy more each time they visit physical stores.
For retailers seeking a hybrid strategy, such as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Webrooming is also an opportunity to upgrade stores to make them more interesting for Webroomers. Additionally, Webrooming can help retailers understand key customer shopping trends so that they push out more targeted mobile ads.
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is on the frontline in trying to help retailers make sense of shopping trends such as Showrooming and Webrooming. About a year ago, Alphabet introduced Store Visits to AdWord, which is a way for retailers to gain shopping trend insights.
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