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Think With Google: 43 Percent Of Electronics Shoppers Are Showrooming

Nearly three-quarters of consumers go to an electronics store to check prices and plans, Google finds many are look to their phones for the same products.

Electronics products tend to receive a lot more scrutiny and research from consumers and the physical store is where shoppers tend to do most of their research on what to buy.

As retailers in general work to refine their omnichannel strategies, electronics stores are under even greater pressure to form a seamless bridge between online and offline marketing.

The concept of the brick-and-mortar store as both a showcase and information resource is clear: about 72 percent of consumers have gone to a store with plans to complete the purchase online, according to a Think With Google report on “shopping moments that matter.”

There is an overwhelming expectation on the part of consumers that retailers will offer multiple ways to purchase a smartphone, for example, with79 percent demanding the choice of online, in-store pickup, or buy in-store/ship-to-home.

In addition, 72 percent of consumers told Google in a survey last June that they go to store to check out a product with plans to buy it online, as consumers tend to not want to carry things like big-screen TVs home.

The biggest challenge and opportunity for electronics retailers also comes down to the perennial issue of showrooming. About 43 percent of consumers say they have purchased products on their phone while looking at the same item in a store. (To clarify, 43 percent were actively looking for the same product cheaper via another brand’s online channel, while 72 percent said they planned to buy the same product from the same brand online at a later time, a Google rep said.)

The use of various proximity marketing tools, from beacons to social media to drive loyalty, along with real-time inventory ads, brick-and-mortar brands can capture consumers’ interest “in the moment,” store brands can address the challenges of showrooming.

In the end, consumers want the immediacy associated with being in a store to see a product that dazzles them and is available to them any way they want it. By offering seamless purchasing options and offering a sense of entertainment as well as information, physical stores can beat back the challenges from pure-play e-commerce platforms.

It all comes down to a clearly appealing “in-store experience” that ultimately extends to a brand’s online channels. That’s the primary expectation that all retailers need to satisfy right now.