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Shopping Smartphone Retail

'Showrooming' on the rise as 58% of US smartphone users now buy online while in a bricks and mortar store


By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

July 24, 2013 | 2 min read

58 per cent of smartphone owners and a third of all US adults now regularly ‘showroom’, the practice of checking out products in physical stores while comparing prices on smartphones and purchasing them for less online while still in-store or later at home online via computer or tablets.

The study from Texas-based Parago found that Amazon is the number one way consumers will compare prices via smartphones and that a price difference of just $5 can sway them from buying in-store to online.

Two-thirds of respondents who said they showroom admitted to doing so weekly and 26 per cent monthly. The majority of showroomers said they will buy a similar, but not identical item that they find on their smartphone if it is significantly cheaper and 67 per cent of showroom shoppers will buy from a physical store over Amazon when the store matches Amazon’s price with a rebate.

“Shopping behaviour 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 svvay 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,” he added.

So how can high street retailers combat this trend? The report suggested that offering customers a price-match guarantee with online retailers like Amazon could be the answer, as special sales, exclusive merchandise and upgraded customer service haven’t managed to slow the trend thus far.

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 behaviours.

Shopping Smartphone Retail

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