Showrooming ratios favour Amazon

28 June 2013
WORTHINGTON: The efforts by bricks-and-mortar retailers to combat showrooming are ultimately falling short, but some, such as those of Best Buy, are proving more effective than others, as a new metric – the showrooming ratio – has demonstrated.

This has been devised by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the business intelligence firm, to indicate the likelihood that a mobile user will evaluate a product in a bricks-and-mortar store and ultimately may purchase the product via that store's site or a competitor's digital channel.

The findings have been derived from a survey by Prosper Mobile Insights, which included 330 smartphone and tablet users who completed the survey on their devices.

When compared to Amazon, Best Buy scored a showrooming ratio of 111.93 among mobile users in the market for electronics. These shoppers were therefore around 11% more likely to purchase via Amazon than a Best Buy digital channel.

But the equivalent score for other bricks-and-mortar retailers was skewed far more heavily in favour of Amazon.

Target returned a score of 125.96 while that for Walmart stood at 135.04.

A breakdown by gender revealed some further significant differences, particularly for male buyers.

The showrooming ratios for men looking at electronic purchases, were 106.59 at Best Buy, but 145.46 at Target and 152.88 at Walmart.

If men appeared more loyal to Best Buy, then women's allegiance leant towards Target. Comparable showrooming ratios for women were 118.98 at Best Buy, 109.40 at Target and 121.46 at Walmart.

"Men are more prone to looking for a variety of brands, in-store experience, and the latest technology when shopping for electronics, whereas women are generally more focused on a budget-friendly price point," said Pam Goodfellow, analyst for Prosper Insights & Analytics.

She noted that Best Buy's initiatives to improve its offerings and in-store customer experience had resonated with male mobile shoppers.

"The challenge for Best Buy going forward will be to maintain a great experience and retain loyal shoppers," she added, "because Amazon will continue to up the ante when it comes to winning over its competitors' customers."

Data sourced from Prosper Insights & Analytics; additional content by Warc staff
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