Title: An exploration of the relationship between product selection criteria and engagement with 'show-rooming' and 'web-rooming' in the consumer's decision-making process

Authors: Louise F. Reid; Heather F. Ross; Gianpaolo Vignali

Addresses: School of Materials, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK ' Business School, The University of Edinburgh, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS, UK ' School of Materials, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK

Abstract: The contemporary consumer's decision-making processes have been affected by two independent factors. Firstly, the difficult economic climate heightened their level of price sensitivity and, secondly, the emergence of online shopping provided them with a better means of information searching. These two factors have combined to produce new behaviours in the shopping process, involving purchasing across channels through show-rooming (viewing in store and buying online) and web-rooming (viewing online and buying in store). Using a quantitative methodology, this paper tested consumers' motivation and propensity to engage in 'show-rooming' and 'web-rooming'. It investigated their reasons for acceptance or avoidance of virtual and physical channels to identify the factors that promote cross-channel behaviour. The results indicated that 'show-rooming' behaviour prevailed when efficient price and product comparisons could not be conducted in physical channels; and 'web-rooming' was used when the consumer could not predict garment dimensions online. This demonstrates the need for retailers to acquire a deeper understanding of the information consumers require within each selling interface, with an aim to minimise the potential of lost sales that result when consumers switch to more proactive competitor brands.

Keywords: fashion industry; consumer decision making; show-rooming; web-rooming; selection criteria; product selection; online shopping; consumer behaviour; consumer motivation; propensity to engage; virtual channels; cross-channel behaviour; price comparison; product comparison; physical channels; garment dimensions; lost sales.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2016.078851

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2016 Vol.17 No.3, pp.364 - 383

Received: 27 May 2015
Accepted: 22 Dec 2015

Published online: 27 Aug 2016 *

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