Showrooming Not Slowing Down, According to Recent Harris Poll

New York, N.Y. – June 4, 2013 Despite brick and mortar retailers’ best efforts to keep consumers buying in-store, forty percent of Americans have showroomed, or tested out a product up close in a store but then purchased it online. Showrooming was a hot topic back in December, as many shoppers were using the tactic during the holiday shopping season to snag the best prices. According to a recent Harris Poll, which set out to determine whether the issue still remains, Best Buy, Walmart and Target are the most likely brick and mortar stores to get showroomed, with 23%, 21% and 12%, respectively, of showroomers choosing these stores to most frequently physically examine goods before buying online.

Among these showroomers:

  • Men prefer showrooming at Best Buy over Wal-Mart or Target (28%, 19% and 10%, respectively)
  • Women’s first showrooming destination is Wal-Mart (23%), followed by Best Buy (17%) and Target (14%)
  • Men’s average spend the last time they showroomed ($210.10) is significantly higher than women’s ($137.10)

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,114 U.S. adults surveyed online from April 15-17, 2013 by Harris Interactive.

Death of a Salesman

Amazon continues to be showroomers’ dominant destination, with 57% identifying the online retail giant as site where they most often make their showrooming purchases.

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.

What reasons cause consumers to buy online? Are pushy salespeople preventing customers from completing their purchases? Almost six in ten showroomers with smartphones (59%) prefer looking up product information on their phone to asking a salesperson for help.

Give ‘Em What They Want

How can brick and mortar retailers change consumers’ behavior and get them to make their purchases in stores? A majority of showroomers (57%) will be more likely to make purchases in brick and mortar stores that have implemented permanent price matching policies in order to compete with online retailers. Retailers can also benefit from allowing consumers to place orders online that can then be picked up in a physical store – half of Americans (50%) have made purchases this way, and nearly all of those who have (93%) report being satisfied with the process. What offerings won’t bring consumers in? The idea of charging consumers to physically examine a product in a store before purchasing at a different online retailer proved to be unpopular, with only 15% of consumers willing to be charged for showrooming.

Over eight in ten Americans consider the following factors to be very important or important when deciding to purchase in a store rather than online:

  • Being able to take the item home immediately (86%)
  • Taking advantage of sales in store vs. prices online (84%)
  • Not having to deal with the hassles of returning online such as paying for shipping and/or having to pack item (83%)
  • Ability to touch and feel item (83%)

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

TABLE 1

HAVE EVER SHOWROOMED

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

%

%

Yes

43

40

No

57

60

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

 

TABLE 2

BRICK & MORTAR STORE MOST FREQUENTLY SHOWROOM AT

In general, 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

Gender

Men

Women

%

%

%

%

Best Buy

24

23

28

17

Walmart

22

21

19

23

Target

9

12

10

14

Home Depot

4

6

9

2

Sears

2

4

4

3

Lowe’s

3

3

4

2

Barnes & Noble

3

1

 

2

Macy’s

2

1

1

1

Kohl’s

1

1

 

1

JCP (JCPenney)

1

 

 

1

Bed Bath & Beyond

1

1

1

1

Costco

1

1

1

Victoria’s Secret

 

 

 

J. Crew

 

 

 

Abercrombie & Fitch

 

1

Gap

 

Various / Depends on item

4

2

2

1

Other

18

14

10

20

None

1

3

3

2

Not at all sure

2

3

2

5

Declined to answer

3

2

3

2

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

signifies less than 1%

– signifies 0%


TABLE 3

ONLINE RETAILER MOST FREQUENTLY PURCHASE FROM AFTER SHOWROOMING

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

Showroomers

Best Buy

Walmart

Target

%

%

%

%

%

Amazon

57

57

66

69

72

eBay

5

5

6

4

9

Walmart

5

4

1

8

2

Best Buy

3

4

12

2

1

Home Depot

2

2

1

Target

2

1

8

Lowe’s

2

1

1

Sears

1

1

Nordstrom

 

1

Kohl’s

 

1

2

Overstock

1

3

Macy’s

 

 

JCP (JCPenney)

 

 

 

QVC

 

2

Bloomingdale’s

 

Variety / Depends on item or price

3

4

1

3

3

None

4

4

1

3

 

Don’t know

1

1

 

Declined to answer

3

2

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

signifies less than 1%

– signifies 0%


TABLE 4

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

Gender

Showroomers

Men

Women

Best Buy

Walmart

Target

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

$1-$20

15

18

16

21

8

25

23

$21-$25

6

8

5

12

8

8

9

$1-$25 [NET]

21

26

21

33

15

33

33

$26-$49

11

13

9

18

8

12

28

$50

10

12

12

11

10

12

13

$1-$50 [NET]

42

51

42

62

33

57

74

$51-$99

12

13

16

10

17

11

13

$100

9

8

10

7

8

10

3

Up to $100 [NET]

63

73

68

78

58

77

90

$101-$150

7

6

7

5

5

8

3

$151-$200

8

5

7

2

8

3

 

$201-$500

14

10

10

10

18

5

6

$501+

7

7

8

5

12

7

More than $100 [NET]

37

27

32

22

42

23

10

MEAN SPENDING

$211.80

$178.20

$210.10

$137.10

$235.80

$143.40

$60.40

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

 

TABLE 5

IMPACT OF PERMANENT PRICE MATCHING ON LIKELIHOOD TO PURCHASE PRODUCTS IN BRICK & MORTAR STORES

Some stores, including Best Buy and Target, recently implemented permanent price matching of online stores like Amazon (previously only available at the holidays). Will this make you more or less likely to purchase products in their brick and mortar store?

Base: U.S. adults who have showroomed

Total

%

Much/Somewhat more likely (NET)

57

Much more likely

20

Somewhat more likely

37

Neither more nor less likely

39

Much/Somewhat less likely (NET)

4

Somewhat less likely

3

Much less likely

1

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

 

TABLE 6

AGREEMENT WITH IN-STORE/SHOWROOMING STATEMENTS

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Base: Variable Bases

 

Strongly/ Somewhat agree (NET)

Strongly agree

Somewhat agree

Strongly/ Somewhat disagree (NET)

Somewhat disagree

Strongly disagree

Not at all sure

While in a brick and mortar store, I would rather use my smartphone to search for information about a product than ask a salesperson for help

%

59

26

33

39

24

15

2

I would be willing to pay a small fee, say about $5, to physically examine a product in a store before I purchased it elsewhere online

%

15

5

10

83

15

68

3

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

 

TABLE 7

HAVE PURCHASED A PRODUCT ONLINE AND PICKED UP IN-STORE

Have you ever purchased a product online from a retailer and then picked up the purchase in a physical store?

Base: All U.S. adults

Total

%

Yes

50

No

50

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


TABLE 8

SATISFACTION WITH PURCHASING A PRODUCT ONLINE AND PICKING UP IN-STORE

You indicated you have ever purchased a product online from a retailer and then picked up the purchase in a physical store. How satisfied, if at all, were you with this process?

Base: U.S. adults who have purchased online and picked up in store

Total

%

Very satisfied/Satisfied (NET)

93

Very satisfied

45

Satisfied

49

Not that satisfied/Not at all satisfied (NET)

7

Not that satisfied

5

Not at all satisfied

2

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

 

TABLE 9

AGREEMENT WITH IN-STORE/SHOWROOMING STATEMENTS

When deciding to purchase in a store rather than online, how important, if at all, are each of the following factors to that decision?

[Summary of Very Important + Important]

Base: All U.S. Adults

Total

Gender

Men

Women

%

%

%

Being able to take the item home with me immediately

86

87

86

Taking advantage of sales in stores versus prices online

84

81

86

Not having to deal with the hassles of returning online such as paying for shipping and/or having to pack item

83

81

85

Ability to touch and feel item

83

81

85

Being able to talk to a sales person

57

57

57

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


TABLE 10

WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR SAME-DAY DELIVERY WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE

Would you be willing to pay more to get same day delivery when you shop online?

Base: All U.S. Adults

Total

Gender

Age

Male

Female

18-34

35-44

45-54

55+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Yes

19

22

16

33

24

13

9

No

77

74

79

63

73

82

87

I don’t shop online

4

3

5

4

3

5

4

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

 

TABLE 11

HOW MUCH MORE WILLING TO PAY FOR SAME-DAY DELIVERY WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE

How much more would you be willing to pay to get same day delivery when you shop online?

Base: U.S. adults who shop online and would be willing to pay more for same-day delivery when doing so

Total

%

$0

 

$1-$2

11

$3-$4

7

$5

38

$1-$5 more [NET]

56

$6-$9

6

$10

24

$11-$20

6

$21+

7

$6+ more [NET]

43

MEAN

$9.30

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

 

TABLE 12

WEBSITE TYPICALLY GO TO FIRST WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE

When you are shopping online, what website do you typically go to first?

Base: U.S. adults who shop online

Total

%

Amazon

56

eBay

8

Google

5

Walmart

4

Target

1

Overstock

1

Ebates

1

Bing

1

Yahoo!

1

Kohl’s

 

JCP (JCPenney)

 

Macy’s

 

QVC

 

Best Buy

 

Sears

 

Home Depot

 

Lowe’s

 

Other department store mentions

 

Store website (unspecific)

1

Variety / Depends on item or price

3

Other

8

None

3

Don’t know

1

Declined to answer

3

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

 

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between April 15 and 17, 2013 among 2,114 adults (aged 18 and over), among whom 824 have showroomed. 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.

The Harris Poll® #32, June 4, 2013

About Harris Interactive

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