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'Showrooming' Takes Bite Out of Big-Box Business

'Showrooming' Takes Bite Out of Big-Box Business . / Credit: Employee shopping online at work image via Shutterstock

Big-box stores are suffering most from "showrooming," a new study finds.

Research from Harris Interactive revealed that Best Buy, Walmart and Target are the most likely brick-and- mortar stores to have shoppers test out a product in-store, only to purchase it online, also known as showrooming. Overall, 40 percent of shoppers said they have showroomed previously.

The study found that Amazon continues to be showroomers' destination of choice, with nearly 60 percent using the online retail giant most often to make their showrooming purchases.

[The Key to Winning Online Shoppers: Flexibility]

"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. "These results further stress the company's clout, by displaying its ability to pluck customers right from their competitors' stores."

The research shows there are steps brick-and-mortar stores can take to persuade customers to buy in-store.

Nearly 60 percent of the showroomers surveyed 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, while half have placed orders online that they were then able to pick up in an actual store.

The study discovered that more than 8 in 10 Americans consider the following factors to be important when deciding to purchase in a store rather than online:

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

The study was based on surveys of more than 2,100 U.S. shoppers.

Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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