Is “webrooming” the future of retail?

You've heard of "showrooming" — when a customer goes to a brick-and-mortar store to experience an item in-person before going home to make the actual purchase online — but have you heard of "webrooming?" It's the latest consumer trend that could be shaping how the retail industry evolves over the next few years.

Webrooming is the process of researching a product online, comparing prices and models thoroughly, before going to a brick-and-mortar location to conduct the actual purchase. This is becoming a more popular process for consumers, and it's forcing retailers to change their sales approach. Individuals are prizing immediacy above all else, making same-day in-store pickup one of the most popular options for customers on the go.

It seems that retailers' fear of the end of brick-and-mortar was unjustified, since only 7 percent of purchases in the United States are made online, according to The Washington Post. However, that doesn't mean businesses won't have to adapt to the change in user operation.

For example, customers are more educated about the products they're buying than ever before, and often know more about the merchandise than the sales associates. This makes it difficult for companies to provide satisfactory customer service, and it also makes it hard to upsell customers on more expensive items. Individuals know what they want before they even get into the store, so they aren't making as many impulse decisions.

Additionally, price-matching is something retailers will heave to contend with. Best Buy and Staples, for instance, are using price-match programs to attract new customers.

If you own a business, make sure your customers are being served with a sophisticated card processing software, so they receive the best in-store experience possible.

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