How to Deter Showrooming


Let’s say you walk into a store to do some holiday shopping with your mobile device in-hand. Do you:

A.      Compare online prices to in-store prices?

B.      Visit a company’s website to learn more about a product?

C.      Look up a product review?

If you’re like me, “A” is your most likely selection. If you also take this one step further and then go home to continue your search for even lower prices, call me maybe. We should become shopping buddies.

Has your brand been subjected to this ‘showrooming’ practice, where consumers go into your store to get the look and feel of a product and later go online to hunt for the lowest price?  While this new phenomenon may have some retailers shaking in their (winter) boots, savvy marketers will see it as a great way to provide their customers with more targeted messages. With mobile projected to influence an average of $689 billion in retail sales over the next four years, this is a can't-miss opportunity (Deloitte).

According to results from our recent consumer survey (download here:, 41% of mobile device owners have made a purchase as a direct result of an email promotion they viewed on their device. So, one way for marketers to deter shoppers from ‘showrooming’ is to create email coupons that render on mobile devices and are redeemable in-store. Here are some steps to make these email discounts way better than coupon-cutting:

  1. Use web analytics to your advantage so you can provide consumers with relevant incentives for purchase. For example, while in-store, a shopper may visit a brand’s website to compare online to in-store prices. By leveraging behavior-based web analytics, an email marketer could send that same shopper a coupon for 15% off any purchase made in-store.
  2. 79% of people who opt to shop in-store prefer to do so over the weekend. Align your email campaigns with consumer behavior by deploying them on Friday, before shopping begins, as well as Saturday and Sunday.

3. Give consumers what they want. Respondents in our survey ranked the following email promotions by their influence on purchase decisions:

1st Percent Discount

2nd Free Shipping

3rd Money Off

4th Buy One, Get One Free

5th Free Gift with Purchase

6th Rewards Points

Email shoppers coupons with offers that rank the highest.

All insights above are included in the Consumer Online Behavior Report: Developing Informed Digital Strategies for Holiday Success.

With more and more people using mobile—as well as email and social media—to inform their purchase decisions, it’s important for marketers to understand shopping preferences. Want to learn more about how you can tailor your marketing practices to consumer preferences, especially during the holidays? Register for Yesmail’s webinar tomorrow, October 25th, at 1pm CDT. We hope you join us.

Author Bio

Melissa Goss

Melissa helps companies make more strategic decisions around their marketing campaigns by providing content that spans blog and social media posts to white papers and case studies. Prior to Yesmail, she focused on search engine marketing and social advertising at online retailer ModCloth. Melissa graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Communication Studies, a minor in Business and a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications.