M: Hello Linda.
W: Hello Rob.
M: Happy New Year to you, Linda. The festive season is over — so, did all that holiday shopping break the bank?
W: You mean, did I spend too much money? Well, yes I did.
M: Well，do you know about showrooming?
W: Yes, customers visit shops to see and test products before buying them online.
M: Yeah, you see technology is changing the way we shop and it could spell disaster — or be very bad for — the high street.
W: The high street, you mean those everyday shops that we normally see in our town centres? Things like shoe shops, news agents, supermarkets,
M: Yes, the high street is competing with the internet. I buy things like CDs, electrical goods and food online.
W: Ah, but have you ever 'showroomed' before, Rob?
M: Yes，I showroomed and then bought a camera at a knock-down price online. I know I'm not alone in doing this though. Research found 24% of people showroomed while Christmas shopping last year.
W: And a market research company also found one third of consumers around the world said they used this type of shopping.
M: Now, although people do it to try and save money, there are other reasons for this, too.
W: What are they?
M: Three reasons for people to showroom: They are short on time, short on money, and they want reassurance.
W: Yes, reassurance — so they want to know what the product really looks like and they want to be confident they are buying the right thing.
M: I think that's true, I like to inspect what I am buying. If you go to a shop and look at the real thing, you get a much better idea of what it's like — but I also want a bargain.
W: We could say we use the internet to shop around.
M: That's a good phrase, meaning to look around for the best deal. Using a smartphone is an increasingly popular way to do this.
W: Smartphones are also useful for getting product reviews — these are the kind of opinions or comments about the product.
M: Yes, and you can also use smartphones to scan the barcodes on the product and compare prices that way.
W: So it seems browsing — that's looking at things to buy but not actually purchasing something in store —is set to increase. Does this mean the death of the high street?
M: I think it will have to adapt or make changes. It could try to compete on price more or offer more incentives when you are in the shop.
W: Incentives—these are things to encourage you to buy the product there and then. Perhaps a discount voucher or a free gift?
M: Oh, yes.