By Donna Ambler on 31 January 2013
Showrooming - it's like old-fashioned tyre kicking - browsing bricks and mortar stores, but it's progressed these days to a level that sees customers checking out a store owner's goods before they make a purchase online. Previously common in the electronics industry and once known as in-store mobile commerce, showrooming has become mainstream consumer behaviour and happens to a range of retailers, particularly clothing and shoe stores.
Earlier this month, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that retailers were beginning to fight back against customers who were clearly showrooming - trying on items, taking photos on their mobile phones while they are browsing in their stores and even comparing prices online while they are shopping. Retailers reported feeling "used and abused by customers who try but never buy". Some retailers are making a big effort to engage their customers in touching, feeling and trying their products in the hope they will buy there and then. Others are turning their attention to an increased online presence to make their products more accessible.