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We've all heard about showrooming, which describes the process of a consumer walking into a bricks-and-mortar store, looking at products, and then using mobile technology to order those items online.

Now, AdWeek writes, there is "webrooming," which essentially is exactly the opposite - researching online and then buying in a physical store.

According to the story, a study by Merchant Warehouse says that "69 percent of people with smartphones in the 18-36 demo have webroomed, while only 50 percent have showroomed. Among 37-48 year olds, 71 percent have webroomed versus 53 percent who have showroomed.

"The report doesn’t get into revenue figures, but Forrester Research vp and principal analyst Sucharita Mulpuru does. Citing data from a recent Forrester study, she estimated that webrooming will result in $1.8 trillion in sales by 2017, versus $1.2 trillion in 2012. In comparison, all e-commerce sales should reach $370 billion in 2017."
KC's View:
No real surprise here, since people actually were webrooming before there were smartphones and tablet computers. I still think that showrooming is the bigger threat to many retailers … and that stores have to be focused on making sure that when people come into their stores, the most interesting thing to look at is not their phones and tablets.