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So-called 'Showroomers' exhibit more loyal behaviour than non-showroomers, making them an ideal target consumer group for retailers, according to a recent study from loyalty management firm Aimia. This article is copyright 2012 The Best Customer Guide.

Retail 'showrooming behaviour', whereby consumers browse for items in-store before using their smart phones to find a lower price online, is currently being driven mainly by Millennials (consumers aged 19 to 29), with three quarters of US showroomers coming from that generation.

However, according to Aimia's 'Through the Looking Glass' retail brief, showroomers are also active participants in loyalty and reward programmes, suggesting that they are in fact an undervalued consumer audience for many retailers.

"Showroomers are more likely to participate in loyalty programmes, are more willing to trade personal details for rewards, and are more interested in mobile commerce," said Rick Ferguson, vice president of knowledge development for Aimia. "Retailers should take advantage of these behaviours to transform showroomers into loyal and paying customers."

Retailers therefore have an opportunity to harness showroomers' greater willingness to engage in reward programme memberships. Aimia's research shows the typical showroomer is male, owns at least two digital devices, is active in social media, and is excited by mobile commerce. The research also found that American showroomers are:

  • 67% more likely than a non-showroomer to participate in a travel reward programme membership;
  • 20% more likely than non-showroomers to participate in a retail reward programme membership;
  • Three times more likely than non-showroomers to respond to a location-based mobile offer.

"The solution to embracing showrooming behaviour lies in retailers leveraging their shopping data to get consumer insights that will help shape their marketing strategies and drive in-store purchases, " said Ferguson. "The tools of loyalty management provide unparalleled insight that can help retailers reinvent retail and build stronger relationships with consumers."

Retailers can influence showroomers by leveraging the tools of loyalty management including:

  1. Using hard benefits to reward desired behaviour
    Offer in-the-midst showroomers the chance to join your rewards programme with a rich bonus offer on their first purchase.
  2. Linking soft benefits to upper-tier smart phone users
    Identify showroomers within the upper tier of your most valuable customers, and lavish them with soft benefits such as exclusive access, special benefits, experiential rewards, location-based offers and other privileges that resonate with your target audience.
  3. Stealing the online thunder
    Offer a showrooming app through your own loyalty programme, allowing you to hold on to customer insights.
  4. Deploy an aggressive partner strategy
    Work with and share opt-in data with partners and suppliers to combat showrooming together.

The full retail brief and infographic has been made available for free download from Aimia's web site - click here (free registration may be required).