E-Commerce And Showrooming: How Retail is Changing
Keywords:showrooming, online-offline retailing, omni-channel, multichannel, e-commerce
Distribution channels are undergoing a radical change. The success of the online channel and digitalization driven by a few leading companies in recent years has dramatically changed the way people live and change their purchasing patterns. New technologies have multiplied the points of contact; broadband connection has increased the number of always-on consumers and, at the same time, has developed online shopping (Pentina & Hasty, 2009).
What are the implications of digital technological innovations? Will the physical store continue to play a key role? Will online shopping be able to offer an engaging and exciting consumer experience?
For example, showrooming is becoming a common practice. It consists in obtaining all relevant information about a product at the point of sale and finally, buying it online. This practice is often used in order to save money since online prices are known to be lower than in retail shops. It is also driven by the customer's need to touch a product before buying it. More and more retailers are dealing with this phenomenon of being a storefront, providing information, letting people touch products and eventually making fewer sales.
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