Showroomers Flock To Amazon

A new study about the increasingly common practice of showrooming – experimenting with products in-store while comparing prices in real time and purchasing the item later, at home, for less money – indicates that many users who engage in this practice head straight to Amazon to make their final purchase. In fact, 57% of showroomers chose the massive online marketplace, while only 3% were likely to try eBay or Walmart. During the 2012 holiday season, 48 million shoppers reportedly engaged in showrooming, which means that Amazon alone received 27.36 million showroomers who redirected from brick-and-mortar stores to the online service in search of lower, more competitive pricing. This is, in part, due to the large number of Amazon Prime members, who have access to free two-day shipping; it’s also due to knowledge about pricing. For instance, Amazon’s prices on electronic items are, generally speaking, 17% lower than Best Buy – so it’s easy to see why a consumer would test a product in the store and take a 17% discount with free 48-hour shipping with a Prime membership. That said, price matching initiatives taken by stores to combat this practice seem to be working, as 68% of consumers will check a store’s price matching policy before taking their business online, and 95% of customers day that free shipping offers influence a purchasing decision.