This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

September 19, 2012

"Showrooming"---a Hybrid Shopping Experience

Picture this: you are shopping in a store for a large screen television or a sound system. The deal the store is offering seems good, but you want to satisfy yourself that it is the best deal you can find. You whip out your mobile device and begin surfing the web--- scanning or texting for more product information just to make sure. In case you did not know, you are doing what retailers call "Showrooming".

The latest research from Vibes, a mobile marketing and technology company, provides fascinating insights into what retailers must do to connect with today’s mobile consumer, enhance the multi-channel shopping experience, and successfully compete against online discounters. According to "Vibes Mobile Consumer Report", 90 percent of shoppers are equipped with their mobile phones in store.

Nearly half of all consumers use their mobile phones to feel better about their purchases. These actions highlight an opportunity for retailers to provide well-positioned, in-store, calls to action where consumers can get helpful information about products. If they do it right, these messages will result in securing the sale for their bricks-and-mortar stores via their e-commerce sites.

Not surprisingly, 84 percent of "showrooming shoppers" have conducted research while shopping in-store, making mobile a direct and personal channel through which to engage shoppers in real-time. This finding demonstrates that while retailers today should be more concerned with providing useful and timely information to help shoppers feel good about their purchases while in-store.

The answer is not a company app: only 17 percent of consumers have used a company's app while shopping in-store, while 69 percent have unsubscribed from a retailer's mobile database due to too many messages or updates. These findings highlight the importance for retailers to understand the delicate balance of time, location and interaction when using mobile.

"The retailers who don't deploy a mobile marketing strategy will continue to be challenged with decreasing in-store sales and risk being Amazoned," said Jack Philbin, CEO of Vibes. We agree. Retailers will either join the 21st Century or expect to be overtaken by their competitors and perhaps even out of business within a few years.

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