Can't Beat Them, Join Them: Retailers Embrace Showrooming through Mobile

CFI Group's latest Holiday Trends Report uncovers increasing mobile use by both retailers and consumers

Nov 26, 2013, 10:00 ET from CFI Group

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Retailers may not need to fear showrooming, according to a new study by CFI Group, a customer satisfaction technology and analytics firm. The 2013 Holiday Trends Report – Mobile Apps found while 60 percent of smartphone owners have used their phones to check pricing online and in local stores, a growing number of retailers also are arming associates with mobile technology to proactively engage with customers through their preferred method of shopping.

As the adoption of mobile continues to grow, so does its role in shopping transactions: 40 percent of consumers report that they have received tech-enabled assistance while they were in the store. Expanding upon mobile's use in the store, CFI Group's research found that nearly 60 percent of smartphone owners have used their phones to make a purchase in the past six months. When thinking ahead for the coming year, 89 percent foresee themselves using their smartphone for future purchasing activity. These behaviors provide retailers strategic opportunities to connect with consumers through mobile applications.

These habits don't discriminate against age: 25-to-34 year-olds are the most smartphone-dependent shoppers. More than 90 percent own a smartphone, and more than half use the device to check product reviews and recommendations while shopping. The research also found that 35-to-54 year-old smartphone owners also access their mobile device when shopping; nearly half of this group use their device to check product availability.

"Mobile is changing the consumer's path to purchase," said Sheri Petras, CEO of CFI Group. "Retailers have an opportunity maximize their holiday season through thoughtful engagement via mobile channels and devices to create the greatest impact on their performance."

Earlier this holiday season, CFI Group released two additional holiday trends reports, focused on consumer shopping habits this holiday season, how much they plan on spending and when they are going to shop in the upcoming weeks.

The previous reports, 'Tis the Season for Showrooming and Price Consciousness Prevails, found the following:

  • Millennials are more likely to showroom than Baby Boomers, with 38 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds reporting they're likely to showroom all or most of the time compared with only 15 percent of 45-to-56-year-olds.
  • With their smartphones, 59 percent of consumers check competitive pricing online, 44 percent search for product reviews and recommendations and 36 percent look for product availability.
  • Fewer than 25 percent of consumers plan to spend more than half of their holiday shopping budget during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period.

At a time where customer experience can make or break a retailer's holiday success, monitoring and analyzing drivers of customer experience has never been more important. CFI Group offers a variety of services and tools to help businesses understand these metrics and make informed decisions, positively impacting financial performance. To learn more, please visit:

About CFI Group (
CFI Group is a global leader in providing customer feedback insights through analytics. CFI Group provides a technology platform that leverages the science of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). This platform continuously measures the customer experience across multiple channels, benchmarks performance, and prioritizes improvements for maximum impact. 

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, CFI Group serves global clients from a network of offices worldwide. Our clients span a variety of industries, including financial services, hospitality, manufacturing, telecom, retail and government. Regardless of your industry, we can put the power of our technology and the science of the ACSI methodology to work for you.