showrooming, retail localization, walmart, best buy

Harris Poll Shows Best Buy and Walmart are Most Showroomed

Are your stockings hung by the chimney with care?  Hope so, because the holiday shopping season has begun everywhere.  While consumers hit the shops – and the Internet – The Harris Poll has been hard at work checking on some of the top issues facing retailers and shoppers alike this holiday season.

showrooming, retail localization, walmart, best buy

Following are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,249 adults surveyed online between November 27 and 29, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

“Showrooming” and its impact on retailers

What is it?

There’s a new trend facing brick-and-mortar stores, and its industry nickname is “showrooming.”  It happens when shoppers try out a product up close in a store but then choose to purchase it online.  Over four in ten (43%) U.S. adults have showroomed, and the practice clearly affects some stores more than others.

Which stores are losing the most customers to this trend?

When those who have ever showroomed are asked to name the brick and mortar store they most frequently visit to examine a product before purchasing it online, Best Buy (24%) and Walmart (22%) are the top victims of this trend, followed by Target (9%) and, more distantly, by Home Depot (4%), Lowe’s (3%) and Barnes & Noble (3%).

  • Men (30%) are more likely to report Best Buy as their top showrooming location than women (17%).
  • The inverse is true for Walmart (18% men – 27% women) and Target (7% men – 12% women), with women more likely than men to identify each of these retailers as their most frequent showrooming stop.

And which online retailers are snapping them up?

When showroomers are asked to name the online retailer they most frequently purchase from after visiting a brick and mortar store, Amazon (57%) is the dominant response; the online mega-retailer is mentioned by the majority of showroomers, at more than a 10:1 ratio over the next strongest mentions (eBay and Walmart, at 5% each).  Other online retailers mentioned by over 1% of showroomers include Best Buy (3%), Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot (2% each).

Looking specifically at those who typically showroom at the top three brick and mortar stores:

  • 8% of Best Buy showroomers go on to purchase from Best Buy online, 71% from Amazon.
  • 11% of Walmart showroomers go on to purchase from Walmart online, 64% from Amazon.
  • 12% of Target showroomers go on to purchase from Target online, 72% from Amazon.

How much do showroomers spend?

Showroomers report spending an average of $211.80 the last time they purchased a product online after examining it in a brick and mortar store.

  • Average spending is significantly higher among those who typically visit Best Buy’s showroom ($281.50) than among those who prefer to do their in-person scouting at Walmart ($119.10) or Target ($79.30).
  • Average spending is also significantly higher among male showroomers ($269.80) than among their female counterparts ($148.70).

Making a game of it

Mimicking rankings for everyone’s favorite fall sport – football – the study also ranks retailers by their net takeaway score.  This newly created score looks at customer turnovers (percentage showrooming at the identified brick and mortar store) and recoveries (percentage that then go on to purchase from the specified website) they made as compared with competitors.  While Amazon (57) and eBay (5) both show positive scores by default – since they lack any brick and mortar presence at this time – Amazon’s dominant position is nonetheless worthy of recognition.  Best Buy (-21) and Walmart (-17) lose more shoppers to other online retailers than they are able to recover, as does Target (-7).

[via MultiChannel Merchant]