Showrooming and retail opportunities: a qualitative investigation via a consumer-experience lens

Jason Sit, Anna Hoang, Alessandro Inversini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Showrooming represents a shopper behaviour prevalent in today's retail landscape, referring to consumers inspecting a desired product at a retailer's physical store and then buying it online, usually from a competitor. Showrooming has been examined frequently from a negative standpoint (e.g. free-riding and channel-hopping), via the theoretical lens of multichannel shopping and using a quantitative (theory-testing) approach. The present study seeks to investigate showrooming from a positive standpoint and help retailers to diagnose and appreciate potential opportunities that may be presented by this shopper behaviour. Our investigation is guided by the theoretical lens of consumer experience and a qualitative (theory-building) approach, based on convergent interviews with eleven self-proclaimed showroomers and the shopping context of consumer electronics. The present study contributes to retail theory and practice by illustrating that showrooming can be conceived and managed as a positive shopper behaviour. Its potential opportunities can be better appreciated when retailers consider fully its experiential aspects, such as decision activities and emotions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-174
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Volume40
Early online date6 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • showrooming
  • multichannel shopping
  • consumer behaviour
  • decision making
  • emotion

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