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Google Study Debunks Offline vs Online Myths Once and For All
Image Credit  Antoine K Creative Commons license

Google Study Debunks Offline vs Online Myths Once and For All

In a new study, search giant Google has sought to provide evidence that today’s common misconceptions about showrooming are complete fantasy.

With the help of Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands, the search company’s insights arm Think With Google was able to prove that search results do not simply just send consumers to e-commerce sites.

Three out of four shoppers taking part in Google’s study, who found local information in search results helpful, were more likely to visit stores. On the flipside, if that information is unavailable for a certain store, one in four are unlikely to venture through its doors.

Loss of engagement

Another falsity, likely perpetuated by stores which are clawing to justify a downturn in finances, is that when consumers turn to their smartphone in a shop, they become disengaged with the retailer.

Google found that while 42% search for information online when they are inside a retail outlet, only 30% seek out details from a competitor’s website or app. It means the onus is on the retailer to deliver a more rounded experience, capable of using a consumer’s mobile to their advantage.

A retailer should be using their digital presence, whether that is their apps, mobile ads, website or search results, to engage with users who are in-store by adopting solutions such as iBeacons or other geo-targeting technology.

Stores used for research

The final myth that Google has set out to put straight addresses how the modern consumer views a store, with some saying that they only visit brick-and-mortar shops to take part in the business end of the purchasing funnel.

This belief could not be further from the truth. Indeed, Google says 32% of shoppers visit stores at a very early stage, when they are first considering buying a product and 33% undertake research to find out more about the same item.

These days consumers want an experience that is unique to them and 85% revealed that there was a higher chance of them shopping at a retailer if there were personalised coupons and exclusive offers for the store.

If retailers went one step further and provided specific recommendations or let consumers know what their friends and family have purchased, then 64% or 54% respectively were more likely to shop there.

No doubt with these findings, marketers and retailers alike will finally be able to draw a line under the showrooming phenomenon.

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Simon Holland

Simon Holland

Simon is the news and research reporter at Existem. Previously a technology journalist, he now spends his time investigating both future and developing trends in performance marketing whilst producing editorial content for performancein.com

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