The Showroom Showdown: $5 Price Difference Can Persuade In-Store Shoppers to Buy Online

A new national shopper study conducted by parago shows 58 percent of adult smartphone users and 1/3 of all U.S. adult shoppers now regularly "showroom." Showrooming is the shopping practice of checking out products in physical stores while comparing prices on smartphones and purchasing them for less on smartphones while in-store or later at home online via computer or tablet.

"Shopping behavior has fundamentally changed. The combination of growing smartphone use, consumers' determination to find the lowest price and the ability to make purchases on smartphones while in store is resulting in brick and mortar retailers losing buyers to savvy e-tailers like Amazon in unprecedented numbers," explained Rodney Mason, CMO of parago, a global incentives and engagement company.

"Even the retailer practice of offering exclusive items and SKUs is being worked around, as shoppers are now being served up similar items at lower prices on their smartphones, and they are buying them," Mason added.

Key study findings include:
  • Amazon is the #1 way U.S. consumers compare prices on smartphones in store
  • A price difference of just $5 can sway shoppers from in-store to Amazon purchasing
  • 58 percent of smartphone owners regularly showroom – 1/3 of all US adult shoppers
  • The majority of showroomers will buy a similar, but not identical item that they find on their smartphone if it is significantly cheaper
  • 67 percent of showroom shoppers will buy from a physical store over Amazon when the store matches Amazon's price with a rebate
  • Shoppers showroom across a variety of retail categories including apparel, appliance, automotive, building supplies and tools, electronics and technology, entertainment, housewares and office supplies
The "Dynamic Pricing in a Smartphone World" shopper study is available in full here.

The shopper survey was conducted in June 2013 via independent online delivery. More than 1,000 US smartphone owners responded to a survey that explored their showrooming and mobile and online shopping habits, as well as the motivating factors that lead to these behaviors.
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