Warc Blog

Showrooming threat hits major chains

1 March 2013
SEATTLE: Retailers like Toys 'R' Us, Bed Bath & Beyond and TJ Maxx are at the greatest risk from showrooming, a study assessing the mobile shopping habits of Amazon users has claimed.

Analytics company Placed used its panel of 14,000 mobile phone users, who consent to have their locations tracked in exchange for store gift cards and other perks, to track who bought items on Amazon after first looking at the same item in-store.

Its Aisle to Amazon Study found Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart and Toys 'R' Us were the retailers that Amazon showroomers visited the most, scoring 127, 125 and 121 on Placed's 'Retailer Risk Index', respectively.

This meant that they were 27%, 25% and 21% more likely to visit these stores than the average consumer.

"All the attention to date has been on Target and Best Buy as the early victims of showrooming," said David Shim, Founder and CEO at Placed, "but significantly more retailers are at risk."

"Retailers need to know that it's not a question of if or when showrooming will impact their business, as an aisle to Amazon is already in their store," he added.

Best Buy and Target, two retailers that responded to the growing practice of showrooming by permanently matching the prices of online retailers, registered scores of 120 and 115 in turn.

But Jon Sandler, a spokesman for Best Buy, told the New York Times that "showrooming is now dead to us" following the change in the company's pricing policy.

Among other leading retailers, Sears scored 119, Barnes & Noble 118 and Kohl's 117. CostCo and JCPenney both came in at 114.

And users of Amazon's Price Check app, which allows shoppers to instantly compare prices and purchase on Amazon while in a brick-and-mortar store, were 53% more likely to visit TJ Maxx and 49% more likely to visit CostCo.

Placed also broke down the Amazon showroomers by gender and found that men were most likely to visit Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe's, while women were more likely to go to Kohl's, PetSmart and Bed Bath & Beyond.


Data sourced from Placed/New York Times; additional content by Warc staff

 
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