Showrooming and Webrooming: A Tale of Two Trends

    New York, N.Y. – December 3, 2013 If showrooming was a holiday trend to watch in 2012, then webrooming (wherein consumers do their research online and then head to the store to actually make a purchase) is one to watch in 2013, according to a recent Harris Poll following up on research first implemented during last year’s holiday season and revisited earlier this year. As of this holiday season, nearly half of Americans have showroomed (46%), up from midyear (40%) and up slightly from 2013 (43%). But if it’s a pure numbers game, webrooming would appear to come into this pairing at an advantage, as roughly seven in ten Americans (69%) indicate having done this.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,250 U.S. adults surveyed online from November 13-18, 2013.

    Two great tastes that taste great together

    To be clear, these two consumer behaviors are far from mutually exclusive – in fact, those who have done one are more likely to have done the other as well, when compared to general population. Six in ten webroomers have showroomed (59%, vs. 46% of Americans overall) and nearly nine in ten showroomers have webroomed (88%, vs. 69% of total Americans). Additionally, men are more likely than women to have both showroomed (53% and 40%, respectively) and webroomed (75% and 63%, respectively).

    Consumers going full circle

    But where are consumers spending their online and in-person shopping time? Looking first at showroomers, Walmart (24%) and Best Buy (21%) are the top destinations for their hands-on time, followed by Target (9%).

    • Male showroomers are roughly twice as likely to visit Best Buy as their female counterparts (27% men, 14% women), while women are roughly three times as likely to visit Target (14% women, 5% men).

    Once they get home and are ready to make their purchase, though, there’s one clear destination standing out over the others, with roughly six in ten showroomers (59%) identifying Amazon as the online retailer they most frequently purchase from after visiting a store – about ten times as many as select Walmart (6%), the next highest response.

    While the majority of showrooming excursions end on Amazon, the highest percentage of webrooming trips (again by a dramatic margin) begin there, with 48% of webroomers naming it as the website they most often visit to examine a product before purchasing it in-store.

    And after their online investigations are complete, where are webroomers most likely to go to make their purchases? Where else? Right back to Walmart (26%), Best Buy (11%) and Target (11%)!

    • Walmart seems to be most successful at transitioning their online visitors into in-store purchasers, as two-thirds (67%) of those webroomers who typically do their investigating at Walmart online say they usually go on to make their in-store purchases at a Walmart brick and mortar store.

    When it comes to the battle for consumers’ holiday shopping dollars, all retailers are upping their games, says Mike de Vere, President of the Harris Poll. Online versus brick and mortar retailers each have their own advantages, and poaching customers from competitors is all about playing to those strengths. Want to skip the crowded stores this holiday shopping season? Online is a clear answer. Feel better about being able to take your purchase home with you immediately? Brick and mortar stores have you covered. We’ll be continuing to watch these trends and the ways in which retailers try to impact them.

    Money matters

    And how much are online and in-store retailers poaching from one another? Showroomers say that the last time they purchased a product online after checking it out in-store they spent an average of $174.00. That’s a pretty penny, but it’s down in comparison to both the average showrooming expenditure from last holiday season ($211.80) and webroomers’ average spending this year ($203.90).

    • Showrooming women are more likely than their male counterparts (73% and 64%, respectively) to have kept their most recent bill at $100 or less, while men are more likely to have spend over $100 (36% men, 27% women).
    • Retailers matter: showroomers who do their scouting at Best Buy go on to make the steepest online purchases ($250.80 on average, compared to $128.90 among Walmart showroomers and $81.20 among Target showroomers).
    • Similarly, webroomers who most often make their final purchase at Best Buy ($372.90) spend more, on average, than the combined spending of those who most often buy at Walmart ($105.60) and Target ($93.30).

    Purchase preferences

    Preferences between online and in-store purchases are not a simple one-or-the-other choice, of course – for one thing, there are a lot of in-store options – Big Box stores, retail chains such as Apple Stores or Gap, and local, one-off stores or small chains. It also depends on what type of product they’re buying.

    • Online is the top choice for books, with 41% identifying online as their preference for book purchases.
    • Big Box stores are the top selection when it comes to purchasing both large (54%) and small (52%) household appliances, along with personal electronics (38%), desktop or laptop computers (37%) and pet supplies (25%). Big Box stores also tie for the top spot with local, individual stores or small chains when it comes to purchasing groceries (34%).
    • In-store purchases at retail chains are the top preference for clothing (37%), shoes (35%) and smartphone/cell phone (35%) purchases.

     

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    TABLE 1

    HAVE EVER SHOWROOMED

    By Trend, Generation, Gender & Webroomers

    Thinking about shopping, have you ever visited a brick and mortar store to examine a product before purchasing it elsewhere online?

    Base: All U.S. adults

    November 2012

    April 2013

    November 2013

    Generation

    Gender

    Have ever Webroomed

    Echo Boomers (18-36)

    Gen Xers (37-48)

    Baby Boomers (49-67)

    Matures (68+

    Men

    Women

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Yes

    43

    40

    46

    50

    53

    44

    33

    53

    40

    59

    No

    57

    60

    54

    50

    47

    56

    67

    47

    60

    41

    Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

     

    TABLE 2

    HAVE EVER WEBROOMED

    By Generation, Gender & Showroomers

    And now, we’d like you to think of things the other way around. Still thinking about shopping, have you ever gone online to examine or research a product before purchasing it in person, at a brick and mortar store?

    Base: All U.S. adults

    November 2013

    Generation

    Gender

    Have ever Showroomed

    Echo Boomers (18-36)

    Gen Xers (37-48)

    Baby Boomers (49-67)

    Matures (68+)

    Men

    Women

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Yes

    69

    69

    71

    69

    62

    75

    63

    88

    No

    31

    31

    29

    31

    38

    25

    37

    12

    Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

     

    TABLE 3

    BRICK & MORTAR STORE MOST FREQUENTLY SHOWROOM AT

    Top Responses by Trend, Gender & Webroomers

    Which brick and mortar store do you most frequently visit to examine a product before you purchase it online elsewhere?

    Base: U.S. adults who have showroomed

    November 2012

    April 2013

    November 2013

    Gender

    Have ever Webroomed

    Men

    Women

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Walmart

    22

    21

    24

    25

    23

    25

    Best Buy

    24

    23

    21

    27

    14

    22

    Target

    9

    12

    9

    5

    14

    10

    Lowe’s

    3

    3

    4

    4

    4

    3

    Home Depot

    4

    6

    3

    4

    2

    3

    Macy’s

    2

    1

    3

    2

    3

    2

    Sears

    2

    4

    2

    1

    3

    2

    Kohl’s

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    2

    Barnes & Noble

    3

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    JCP (JCPenney)

    1

    *

    1

    1

    1

    1

    Costco

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    Various / Depends on item

    4

    2

    5

    5

    7

    6

    Other

    18

    14

    12

    13

    11

    11

    None

    1

    3

    2

    3

    1

    2

    Not at all sure

    2

    3

    2

    2

    2

    2

    Declined to answer

    3

    2

    3

    3

    2

    3

    Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding. * signifies less than 1%; — signifies 0%

     

    TABLE 4

    ONLINE RETAILER MOST FREQUENTLY PURCHASE FROM AFTER SHOWROOMING

    Top responses by Trend, Webroomers, & Where Showroom

    And, which online retailer do you most frequently purchase from after visiting a brick and mortar store?

    Base: U.S. adults who have showroomed

    November 2012

    April 2013

    November 2013

    Have ever Webroomed

    Showroomers

    Walmart

    Best Buy

    Target

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Amazon

    57

    57

    59

    59

    64

    78

    79

    Walmart

    5

    4

    6

    6

    16

    4

    eBay

    5

    5

    5

    5

    9

    4

    2

    Home Depot

    2

    2

    2

    2

    Best Buy

    3

    4

    2

    2

    1

    4

    2

    JCP (JCPenney)

    *

    *

    1

    1

    *

    1

    2

    Target

    2

    1

    1

    1

    1

    5

    Sears

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    Variety / Depends on item or price

    3

    4

    5

    6

    1

    2

    4

    Other

    9

    12

    9

    9

    6

    5

    1

    None

    4

    4

    2

    1

    2

    1

    Don’t know

    1

    1

    1

    1

    *

    Declined to answer

    3

    2

    2

    2

    Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding. * signifies less than 1%; — signifies 0%

     

    TABLE 5

    WEBSITE MOST FREQUENTLY VISIT TO EXAMINE A PRODUCT BEFORE PURCHASING IN STORE

    Top Responses by Gender & Brick and Mortar Destination

    Which website do you most frequently visit to examine a product before you purchase it in-store?

    Base: U.S. adults who have webroomed

    November 2013

    Have ever Showroomed

    Webroomers, by Brick and Mortar Destination

    Walmart

    Best Buy

    Target

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Amazon

    48

    52

    54

    55

    68

    Walmart

    7

    7

    19

    5

    6

    Google

    7

    3

    6

    4

    4

    Best Buy

    3

    3

    1

    21

     

    eBay

    3

    3

    5

    2

    Lowe’s

    2

    2

    *

    Target

    2

    2

    1

    15

    Home Depot

    2

    2

    *

    Store website (unspecific)

    1

    1

    *

     

    Manufacturer/company website

    3

    4

    3

    3

    2

    Consumer reviews/reports

    2

    2

    2

    1

    Variety / Depends on item or price

    4

    5

    1

    1

     

    Other

    8

    9

    3

    7

    1

    None

    1

    1

    1

     

    Don’t know

    2

    1

    *

    1

    Declined to answer

    2

    2

     

    Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding. signifies less than 1%; — signifies 0%

     

    TABLE 6

    BRICK AND MORTAR STORE MOST FREQUENTLY PURCHASE FROM AFTER WEBROOMING

    Top responses by Showroomers, & Where Look Online

    And, which brick and mortar store do you most frequently purchase from after researching a product online?

    Base: U.S. adults who have showroomed

    November 2013

    Have ever Showroomed

    Webroomers, by Website Most Frequently Examine On

    Amazon

    Walmart

    Google^

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Walmart

    26

    28

    30

    67

    24

    Best Buy

    11

    12

    13

    7

    6

    Target

    11

    12

    15

    10

    7

    Lowe’s

    4

    4

    3

    2

    Home Depot

    4

    3

    3

    3

    Sears

    2

    2

    2

    1

    *

    Kohl’s

    2

    2

    3

    1

    1

    Kmart

    1

    1

    1

    4

    1

    Costco

    1

    1

    2

    Bed Bath & Beyond

    1

    1

    1

    7

    Macy’s

    1

    1

    1

    1

    Various / Depends on item or price

    9

    9

    6

    10

    Other

    15

    14

    10

    5

    19

    None

    5

    3

    4

    4

    9

    Not at all sure

    2

    1

    2

    1

    2

    Declined to answer

    3

    3

    1

    5

    Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding. * signifies less than 1%; — signifies 0%

    ^Note – low base size (<100); results should be treated as qualitative, or directional, in nature


    TABLE 7

    MONEY SPENT ONLINE LAST TIME SHOWROOMED

    Thinking of the last time you purchased a product online after examining it in a brick and mortar store, how much did you spend online? If you are not sure, please provide your best estimate.

    Base: U.S. adults who have showroomed

    November 2012

    April 2013

    November 2013

    Gender

    Showroomers

    Men

    Women

    Walmart

    Best Buy

    Target

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    $1-$20

    15

    18

    17

    19

    16

    21

    11

    21

    $21-$25

    6

    8

    5

    3

    8

    7

    4

    6

    $1-$25 [NET]

    21

    26

    23

    22

    24

    28

    15

    27

    $26-$49

    11

    13

    11

    9

    13

    12

    6

    18

    $50

    10

    12

    14

    12

    15

    14

    16

    18

    $1-$50 [NET]

    42

    51

    48

    43

    53

    55

    36

    62

    $51-$99

    12

    13

    10

    12

    9

    10

    6

    9

    $100

    9

    8

    10

    9

    12

    9

    8

    17

    Up to $100 [NET]

    63

    73

    68

    64

    73

    74

    50

    88

    $101-$150

    7

    6

    8

    9

    7

    8

    9

    5

    $151-$200

    8

    5

    6

    6

    5

    3

    13

    2

    $201-$500

    14

    10

    11

    12

    11

    7

    17

    4

    $501+

    7

    7

    7

    10

    4

    9

    11

    1

    More than $100 [NET]

    37

    27

    32

    36

    27

    26

    50

    12

    MEAN SPENDING

    $211.80

    $178.20

    $174.00

    $185.20

    $160.80

    $128.90

    $250.80

    $81.20

    Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

     

    TABLE 8

    MONEY SPENT ONLINE LAST TIME WEBROOMED

    Thinking of the last time you purchased a product in-store after researching it online, how much did you spend on the in-store purchase? If you are not sure, please provide your best estimate.

    Base: U.S. adults who have webroomed

    November 2013

    Generation

    Webroomers, by Brick and Mortar Destination

    Echo Boomers (18-36)

    Gen Xers (37-48)

    Baby Boomers (49-67)

    Matures (68+)

    Walmart

    Best Buy

    Target

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    $1-$20

    19

    30

    14

    12

    16

    23

    11

    33

    $21-$25

    6

    6

    6

    6

    4

    8

    2

    7

    $1-$25 [NET]

    25

    36

    20

    18

    20

    31

    13

    40

    $26-$49

    12

    13

    10

    11

    16

    13

    4

    16

    $50

    12

    12

    15

    12

    8

    16

    7

    13

    $1-$50 [NET]

    49

    62

    46

    41

    45

    60

    23

    69

    $51-$99

    11

    10

    10

    13

    11

    11

    9

    13

    $100

    8

    6

    13

    8

    5

    9

    4

    6

    Up to $100 [NET]

    69

    78

    69

    62

    61

    80

    37

    88

    $101-$150

    6

    6

    7

    6

    6

    6

    10

    2

    $151-$200

    4

    4

    4

    3

    5

    3

    8

    1

    $201-$500

    13

    8

    13

    19

    11

    9

    27

    7

    $501+

    8

    4

    8

    10

    16

    2

    17

    2

    More than $100 [NET]

    31

    22

    31

    38

    39

    20

    63

    12

    MEAN SPENDING

    $203.90

    $133.3

    $179.70

    $267.30

    $261.50

    $105.60

    $372.90

    $93.30

    Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

     

    TABLE 9

    BRICK AND MORTAR STORE MOST FREQUENTLY PURCHASE FROM AFTER WEBROOMING

    Top responses by Showroomers, & Where Look Online

    And, which online retailer do you most frequently purchase from after visiting a brick and mortar store?

    Base: U.S. adults

     

    Online retailer

    Big Box store, in person (e.g., Target, Best Buy)

    Retail chain, in person (e.g., Apple Store, Gap)

    Local, individual store or small chain, in person

    NA – I don’t buy that

    Books

    %

    41

    13

    12

    15

    19

    Desktop or laptop computer

    %

    32

    37

    18

    6

    7

    Personal electronics (e.g., music player, tablet)

    %

    27

    38

    17

    6

    12

    Smartphone/cell phone

    %

    21

    19

    35

    11

    14

    Shoes

    %

    14

    28

    35

    19

    4

    Small household appliances

    %

    14

    52

    17

    11

    7

    Clothing

    %

    14

    30

    37

    17

    3

    Pet supplies

    %

    6

    25

    16

    18

    36

    Large household appliances

    %

    5

    54

    17

    11

    13

    Groceries

    %

    2

    34

    28

    34

    2

    Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between November 13 and 18, 2013 among 2,250 adults (aged 18 and over), of whom 997 have showroomed and 1,509 have webroomed. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

    Brand names used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

    The Harris Poll® #91, December 3, 2013