New research shows online research going hand in hand with buying in-store, as digital aids continue to drive business into physical stores.

A study from payment technologies firm Merchant Warehouse has highlighted the emergence of ‘webrooming’, a new trend which sees shoppers researching certain products online before going on to buy them in-store.

This is a direct reverse of the more commonly known process of showrooming, where customers will go on to purchase an item online after seeing it advertised in a store.

Online grows

While the study indicated that both trends are alive and well in the world of retail, it seems online is fast becoming the go-to point for product research, with nine in ten ‘showroomers’ using the internet to assess their in-store buys.

It is thought that men are slightly more inclined to try webrooming when looking for an item, with 73% regularly taking this approach compared to 63% of women. Traditional showrooming was found to be less popular, with just 53% of men and 40% of women venturing down the route of in-store before online.

The study did at least dispel some of the claims made in previous studies, from retail research firm Verdict among others, which dismissed the huge impact that showrooming is having on the retail industry.


Notes from Merchant Warehouse suggested that businesses could capitalise on the webrooming trend by developing richer web experiences and tweaking their online marketing messages to target customers that may invest in physical retail.

Some of the advice listed within the study’s accompanying infographic includes offering coupons and savings for customers who wish to purchase in-store and alerting users about last-chance items.

For more information on webrooming and how to piggyback on this growing trend, take a look at the full infographic below.