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80% of US retailers will be affected by showrooming this Christmas,
 warns to study

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Despite being all too aware of its bottom line impact, only 10% of brick and mortar retailers have strategies in place to combat showrooming, according to a new research study from Edgell Knowledge Network (EKN), in partnership with eBay Local.

According to the study, 80% of retailers expect to be impacted by showrooming; they expect the average loss of sales to be 5% – a significant number, given the low margins in many retail segments.
 Electronics and appliances were the unanimous choice as the retail format most vulnerable to showrooming.

So what can be done? According to the study, price-matching and improved cross-channel integration are the most effective strategies to counter showrooming. However, only 25% of respondents reported full integration between their store and online channels, and only 15% share their inventory online – indicating a major opportunity for retailers to take measures to lessen showrooming’s impact.

“Showrooming is a phenomenon that’s here to stay. One in four shoppers used their mobile phones to compare prices while in the store during the 2011 holiday season, and those numbers will only grow,” said Gaurav Pant, Research Director, EKN. “But the good news is that retailers can put strategies in place to help counter the effects of showrooming by engaging showroomers actively, integrating their online and offline channels, and prioritizing their investments to counter showrooming.”

The Impact of Showrooming on the 2012 Holiday Season” includes specific recommendations for both immediate and long-term tactics and strategies to help retailers combat showrooming, and can serve as a blueprint to help retailers put the most effective programs in place. It is available for download here

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