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Webrooming

Webrooming is a consumer behavior phenomenon in which shoppers research products or services online before making purchases in brick-and-mortar retail stores, leveraging digital channels for information gathering, price comparison, and product evaluation before engaging in offline transactions. In academia, webrooming is studied within the fields of consumer psychology, retail analytics, and omnichannel marketing. Researchers investigate webrooming behaviors, motivations, and preferences, such as showrooming versus webrooming tendencies, showrooming versus webrooming motivations, and showrooming versus webrooming outcomes, to understand the role of digital touchpoints in influencing consumer purchase decisions and driving omnichannel shopping journeys. Webrooming reflects consumers’ desire for convenience, tactile experiences, and immediate gratification associated with physical retail environments, as well as their reliance on digital channels for product discovery, research, and validation to make informed purchase decisions based on price, availability, and reviews. By recognizing webrooming trends and preferences, retailers can leverage omnichannel marketing strategies, such as click-and-collect services, in-store pickups, and online-to-offline promotions, to bridge the gap between digital and physical retail experiences, drive foot traffic to stores, and capitalize on local consumer demand and preferences for seamless shopping journeys across channels and touchpoints. Academic studies on webrooming also explore its impact on retailer-customer relationships, store performance metrics, and omnichannel sales attribution, as well as opportunities for data integration, customer personalization, and channel synchronization to enhance customer experiences and competitive advantage in omnichannel retailing environments.

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