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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : June 05, 2013

57% of showroomers head to Amazon

Where do most showroomers end up making a purchase? No, it's not a (bad) joke, the question forms part of a new study from Harris Interactive. Oh, and the answer is... Amazon.

by Helen Leggatt

Smartphones are like one huge price directory, conveniently packaged so that shoppers, much to the chagrin of onlooking sales staff, can look-up a product they want having found it in a bricks-and-mortar store and find out where to buy it cheaper.

Hence the term 'showrooming' - where a consumer uses a store as a showroom in which to view and handle goods prior to purchasing elsewhere.

According to new research from Harris Interactive, Best Buy is the bricks-and-mortar store in which people showroom most frequently, cited by 23%. Walmart came in at number 2, cited by 21%, followed by Target (12%) and Home Depot (6%).

Amazon, where most showroomers end up making a purchase after visiting a store, was the recipient of most (57%) of the business lost to other retailers via showrooming. However, that figure goes higher among Best Buy, Walmart and Target showroomers of which 66%, 69% and 72% respectively went on to make purchases with Amazon.

"You've got to hand it to Amazon: they are truly a retail darling that knows how to deliver on customer expectations," said Mike de Vere, President of the Harris Poll. "The company led the rankings in our annual Reputation Quotient study, as well as taking the E-Retailer Brand of the Year title in our annual Harris Poll EquiTrend Study; these results further stress the company's clout, by displaying its ability to pluck customers right from their competitors' stores."

So, what's a store to do to combat the rise in showrooming? The obvious way forward as suggested by this study, is price-matching. In fact, 57% of survey respondents said they would be 'much' (20%) or 'somewhat' (37%) more likely to make a purchase in-store if prices were matched with the likes of Amazon.

Sales staff, in the front line of in-store defense, must always be of the best caliber, trained to assist and support customers in their tasks. However, the Harris Interactive poll found that interacting with showroomers could be a hard ask; 59% agreed they would rather use their smartphone to search for product information than ask sales staff for help.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: brick-and-mortar, consumer survey, ecommerce, mobile marketing, mobile search, online shopping, retailer trends, showrooming trends

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