This report takes a look at this year's hot retail buzzword, "showrooming," which Arkansas Business' Luke Jones touched on more than a month ago in our fourth-quarter retail preview. It's a phenomenon that all retailers who aren't Amazon are intent on battling, even if it seems impossible and/or foolish.
The number of shoppers engaging in showrooming during the 2012 holiday season is expected to increase by 134 percent, with mobile behavior influencing between $700 million to $1.7 billion in retail purchases, according to a new report from IDC Retail Insights.
The report, “Business Strategy: At Hand Versus In Hand – Will Consumers Have the Upper Hand in the 2012 Holiday Showroom Showdown?” found that big-ticket items, especially those that can be easily evaluated with ratings, and reviews will be the most showroomed items this year.
Other items that will heavily showroomed include apparel and, weirdly, footwear.
So what can brick-and-mortar retailers do to combat showrooming? Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy will try price matching. But IDC says it's all about something that's increasingly rare in the retail landscape.
You guessed it: good customer service.
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