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Amidst “Rooming” Trends, Retailers Must Embrace Everywhere Commerce

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Customer Experience Firm InReality Calls for Retailers to Ignore Hype, Immediately Shift Tactics

ATLANTA (July 1, 2014) – In recent years, much attention has been paid to “rooming” trends in the retail industry. First, pundits predicted brick and mortar despair once showrooming (consumers using smartphones to comparison shop while in-store) swept through the industry. Today, it appears as if that trend has reversed. An Interactions study now reports that 88 percent of shoppers webroom (consumers researching online before buying in-store) compared with only 76 percent who showroom.

InReality, one of the country’s fastest growing CX strategy and design firms, believes that the chatter surrounding these headline-generating trends is just that. The larger issue remains that retailers must meet customers where they are and examine their market in a completely new way in order to survive.

“This ‘rooming’ terminology is all marketing fluff,” says Gary Lee, president & chief executive officer at InReality. “If we’re forced to talk terms, we need to label this the era of ‘Everywhere Commerce.’ Today’s consumers are digital, mobile and physical consumers. They expect retailers to be everywhere they are. As such, retailers must be willing and able to adopt technologies, pricing and merchandising that matches the desire for consumers to research and buy as they please.”

Retailers Must Shift Tactics Immediately

Lee believes that the key for retailers to rise above the ‘rooming’ trends and address the larger issue lies in shifting their tactics. He offers four strategic actions:

  • Adopt Omni-Pricing: Eliminate price differential between online and in-store. The days of offering 40 to 50 percent off the online retail price should be gone.
  • Enable Easy Return Policies for Online Purchases: Items, no matter their point of purchase, should be returned as easily in-store as via mail. The post-purchase experience is a critical element when consumers have so many options.
  • Define the Role of the Physical Store: Since anything can be bought online, stores must adopt a “wow” shopping experience strategy that entices consumers to buy when they are in-store regardless of where they researched the product.
  • Stop Measuring Online Against In-Store: Retailers must instead track overall sales against their brand and learn how customers shop in all stores. Then, apply what’s working, eliminate what’s not and constantly seek to increase sales and brand loyalty.

To learn more about InReality’s work in the areas of CX strategy and design, solutions management and measurement, visit www.inreality.com/clients.

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About InReality

InReality is a customer experience strategy and design firm. For more than 19 years, InReality has helped its clients understand and improve how customers experience their brand by identifying and shrinking the reality gaps that exist between their brand’s promises and their customer’s actual experiences and expectations. Through a unique combination of strategy, design, execution and analytics services, InReality empowers its clients with measurable and meaningful results and builds stronger, more enduring relationships between brands and their customers.

InReality has worked with leading brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Simmons, The Home Depot, LP Building Products, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Danze and many others. The company has appeared on the Inc. 5000 twice, most recently in 2013. For more information, please visit www.inreality.com.

Media Contacts

Kristin Harripaul Brenda Becker
InReality Trevelino/Keller
770-953-1400 404-214-0722 x115
kristin.harripaul@inreality.com bbecker@trevelinokeller.com

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