As online shopping becomes increasingly mainstream, many shoppers are using traditional stores as a “showroom” for later online purchases.
Amazon, famously, even encouraged showrooming to the consternation of other retailers.
A new CouponCabin.com survey reveals that more than four-in-ten (43 percent) of smartphone or tablet owners have “showroomed,” i.e. used their device to research and examine merchandise in a brick and mortar store without purchasing it there, then gone online to search for a lower price.
This survey was conducted online nationwide by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin.com from September 18th – 20th, 2012 among 2,361 U.S. adults aged 18 and older.
Most showroomers buy online for a cheaper price
The majority of shoppers who showroom end up buying an item online for less money. Of those who have ever showroomed, 97 percent have at least sometimes ended up buying an item they showroomed online at a later time for lower price.
Twenty-eight percent said they do this always or often, while 68 percent said they do it sometimes.
When asked which types of items they have showroomed in the past, home electronics (50 percent) and tech devices (44 percent) top the list.
The rest of the categories most often showroomed include:
- Entertainment items (books, DVDs, CDs, etc…) – 40 percent
- Apparel – 31 percent
- Shoes – 29 percent
- Traditional computers – 24 percent
- Other – 19 percent
With the busy holiday shopping season quickly approaching, many consumers who own smartphones and tablets report they will use showrooming as a tactic to save money. One-third of U.S. adults who own either of those devices plan on showrooming to find the best possible deals this holiday season.
“Consumers are using technology to find as many ways to save as possible, and showrooming is a prime example of that,” said Jackie Warrick , President and Chief Savings Officer at CouponCabin.com. “As showrooming becomes more widespread, some stores are concerned and are changing their strategies, offering new incentives and providing special offers to keep shoppers buying at their retail locations.”
When asked how concerned they are that the practice of showrooming may drive brick and mortar stores out of business, 44 percent are not at all concerned. On the flip side, 41 percent said they are somewhat concerned, 12 percent are very concerned and 3 percent are extremely concerned.
- Consumers “showroom” at Best Buy, Walmart, but buy at Amazon
- Cyber Monday shoppers to spend more holiday dollars online than in stores
- Retailers better be ready for holiday mobile and online shoppers
- More than a quarter of U.S. adults plan mobile shoping
- A third of US adults would postpone holiday shopping until January to save
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