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Marketing Daily reports on a new study by Acquity Group suggesting that, in fact, bricks-and-mortar retailers would be well advised to actually empower customers to engage in the act of "showrooming," which is defined as going to a store to look at products and then using smartphones to order the items online.

The study, Marketing Daily writes, concludes that "half of all smartphone owners would feel more confident making a major purchase if they had the ability to use free in-store WiFi to research their purchase. Additionally, 30% of these smartphone owners said they’d be more likely to browse additional items not on their list, and 20% would spend more time in the store ... More than three-quarters (78%) of smartphone owners said they had looked up a retailer’s inventory online prior to visiting a physical store, while nearly 60% said they had been influenced to make an in-store purchase decision after browsing product images and information on a smartphone."
KC's View:
Showrooming is going to happen. Retailers can't do much about it. So the only choice, it seems to me, is to embrace it and then compete with it, making sure that when people are in the store, there are fewer and fewer reasons to look at the smart phone or tablet computer.