AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Wed Aug 29 2012 11:16:56

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

By: Julia Wilkinson

Sponsored Link

There's been a lot of talk about this concept of "showrooming" lately -- the practice of consumers comparing prices online with a mobile device while viewing physical products in a retail store. A recent survey showed 45% of customers shopping at brick and mortar locations would abandon the store and complete their purchase online for a discount as low as 2.5%. This figure spikes up to 60% of shoppers who will leave and buy online when the discount is 5%.

The average "showroomer" profile included younger females who purchase online  frequently, according to the study. And the shoppers who could be most persuaded to stay and complete a purchase in-store are older males, 55% of whom buy online once per month. Also, interacting with a sales associate made it 12.5% more likely overall for someone to purchase in-store.

In general, the study's stats showed that it took a $5.00 or more price difference between in-store and online to make most customers leave the store to buy online.

But do these statistics mesh  with your reality? For me, the time and hassle of getting to a retail store is a big impetus to make the purchase right there. Of course, I can be lazy about shopping and prefer to get stuff online whenever I can, when the shipping price isn't prohibitive for a given item. So there are certain kinds of things I don't primarily look to buy in stores .

However, once I have invested time and gas in getting to a store, I feel that it would take more than a  $5 price difference to pull me out of actually making that purchase then and there. And then there are some kinds of items it just makes more sense to drag one's self out to a store for, for example, a pair of jeans that actually fit.

I recall some a "rule of thumb" that was kicked around in the earlier days of eBay that shoppers expected a discount of at least 33% on that site. That's probably a heck of a lot more than $5, in most cases.

How about you? How much of a discount would it take for you to abandon a prospective purchase in a store and buy online? Or do you look around online first? Do you even practice "showrooming," and if so, what is the primary reason -- to be able to view the physical product, or other? And are there certain types of things you usually buy online, and/or usually buy offline, and why? Post a comment here!




Comments (13) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Aug 29 12:28:30 2012

Actually, I would probably pay a little bit more total end cost to shop online for most items like clothing, shoes, etc….

I now HATE the experience of shopping in retail clothing stores. Working at big name status department stores when I was younger was an eye opening experience.

You had a post about yuck factors recently:  I have seen everything in dressing rooms: trash, food, puke, used feminine hygiene products, human t*rds, pee, EVERYTHING. The store janitorial staff gets to clean that up, but it is usually a customer that discovers it.  I HATE dressing room cubicles. Before I became an online shopper, I bought items at stores that took returns, brought it home to try on & than returned what I didn’t want. Online shopping was a godsend for me!

Zappos made shoe buying a dream. Their photo set up is fantastic! They usually beat B&M store prices, too.

Cosmetics is one thing where nothing replaces getting to play with the real thing before buying. BUT: if I have a favorite item, I usually buy its replacement from the website.

Electronics…. Maybe I would go to a box store, but I research products so much first that I usually know exactly what I want – so again, buying from a reputable online outfit is not intimidating.

I research price enough that I know what a good price is before I shop & online does not necessarily have to give me a discount if everything else is equal. Basically, you have me at “you don’t have to leave home to buy me!”

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
Web Site

Wed Aug 29 12:52:54 2012

Basset, you're singing my song about shopping online. I love it. ;) That's so gross about the dressing rooms..yikes! I mean, restrooms are bad enough. And yet some people are supposedly making trips to stores and then comparison shopping..different strokes, I guess! The stats said the showrooming skewed younger and female..could it be that group tends to like to go to malls, browse, etc.? (Not to make a sweeping generalization, but..I am not in the ''younger'' demographic so I wouldn't know!).  

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Aug 29 15:40:24 2012

This is a very interesting post Julia, and one that could give us all some great insights.

A lot depends on peoples demogarphics.

A lot sdpeends on the itesm.

One comment from me as an older male si that I haete shopping. I like to get into the shop buy what I want as soon as I can and get home.

Women seem to like looking around, trying things on, having a cup of coffee.

Years ago I was surprised that online prices were not much lower than b&m. Seeing as how they did not have high rents to pay and staff etc.





What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Wed Aug 29 16:07:23 2012

@Digmen1: You speak to a common fallacy about online sales. Many people figure that since they're not paying rent or salespeople salaries that they have lower costs, but online venues have other costs in terms of computer hardware & software, staff to run it, pick pack and shipping costs (especially with cheap/free shipping being so much preferred), internet service, security, etc...
I suspect that the total expenses aren't that much different between the two.

For myself, the only things where I consider showrooming are some kinds of clothing (pants, suits, shoes, higher-end stuff, some unmentionables) that require trying on, and things with a visual component. The latter includes things like TVs or computer monitors or larger appliances where you need to see all the features. There's no substitute for actually seeing some things first hand. For these items, I'll definitely purchase in-store if the price is right. If I find favorite clothing items, I'll order them online later, once I know how they fit.

I don't really have a particular discount level for buying in person vs. online. I do carefully compare prices, plus weigh the convenience factor of buying online vs. going to a store. Convenience is often even more important to me than price, so there aren't any hard and fast rules I use.

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Aug 29 16:26:46 2012

And if you want MORE reason to shop online:

Don’t forget the rug rat factor. When I was younger & bravely shopped with my young children, it always seemed a venture into chaos! I realize you are supposed to take them out to socialize them, but mine were always hiding in the clothing racks while I looked around to see which evil looking stranger had possibly kidnapped my child. They were grabbing partial cookies or other yummy treats they found on the floor.

My oldest son liked to collect price tags he found on the floor. He usually handed them to the sales people but he graduated to the big-time: We got home & my son handed me a hand FULL of Coach leather  “Coach” tags – the dog-tag sized ones attached to the handbag by beaded chains!  YUP! I had to make a call & a trip back to the store.

Now that I am older, I can’t imagine why a young mother would put herself through mall madness these days with small children. Not with online shopping available. I guess there is that socialization thing, but wasn’t Chuck-E-Cheese made for that?

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

by: Kip This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 29 18:03:01 2012

I rarely by clothing or shoes online. Fit is too difficult. I can try on ten pairs of jeans in the same size, and only one might fit perfectly. Same thing with shoes. The exception is when I find a pair of jeans or  

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

by: Kip This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 29 18:07:20 2012

[sorry - accidentally hit a key that posted what I had written prematurely]

Meant to say when I find an article of clothing or a pair of shoes that fits perfectly, I'll sometimes by another online in a different color.

Books, dvds, shipping supplies, office supplies, computers and components...I buy close to 100% online.

If I'm in a store and see something I like, the online discount would have to be substantial - maybe 40% - to offset taking additional time to find it and order online, and to compensate for having to wait for it versus the immediate gratification of buying it at the store.

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Wed Aug 29 18:46:29 2012

Even if the online item is the EXACT SAME price as the in-store price... I still save by not having to DRIVE to the store, FIND a parking place SEARCH for the item, WAIT in line, HAUL it back to my car (if I can remember where I parked) and DRIVE home again.

The savings in gas and time is well worth it.

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Aug 29 21:14:24 2012

But A Annie

If you are at a mall or shopping centre, you can buy three or four things at one go and spread the cost of gas over them.

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Wed Aug 29 21:51:23 2012

I can do the same thing online, Digmen :-) and still save time/gas.

But generally, if I do drive into town for "one thing" I end up seeing something else, and something else, and something else... and it's always something that I hadn't intended to buy (and usually something that I really don't need anyway).

Now, if I could find a way to buy groceries online, then I'd never have to leave the house. ;-)

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 29 22:47:18 2012

I am very lucky to live in an area with almost all the B&M stores within a short drive.

I have stopped buying electronics online. Purchases two-three years ago were: photo printer ($300); mid range camera ($400); and mid range radio ($150). All three items were repacked items. Packing was out of place; staples and tape were not original; instruction booklets were copies or opened and bent. The items were not right; two were returned at my expense (probably to be repacked and sent out again) . The radio should have been returned too. Now I buy ''on sale'' at B&M ; checking for a sealed box. If item is not right it is brought back to the B&M; no problem. This year B&M purchased laptop,  tablet, and flat screen TV have been problem free.

I do buy Lee jeans online from Lee as stores do not stock 29 inch length  or all the available colors and styles.  Never a problem.
Longtail T shirts are only available from one source online. These were great at first made in India and about $12 - $14 each. Now made in now China (colors seem to fade after two washing) and are $17 to $19 each. I am looking for another source now.  

Most major online companies are charging sales tax now. I will buy at B&M if item is available. ''Saving'' $5 to $20 is not worth the effort for items available today. Ordering online from B&M company and picked up at B&M has worked for me on items not normally stocked (wood playset and  specialty tools).

I bought a hammer drill from B&M that was $5 more than online; after three weeks of use it POPPED out. B&M exchanged to for a new one same day; good luck getting a return from online (their comment/policy would be contact manufacturer) .  

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 31 00:18:01 2012

@ANNIE---If you live in some "civilized" places you CAN buy your groceries online and have them delivered directly to your door.

Depends tho on where you live.  And most places like that have plentiful stores nearby so this must be a convenience factor.  I have read reviews of the NYC area services and how the items ordered vs the items received compared and f course some places were better than others.

I also noticed a "Personal Shopping Fulfillment" shopper at a new SHOP RITE in the ALBANY NY area.  I don't know if you email or call your order in but they actually go thru the store with a special cart and special clothing to let you know who they are and pick out the items you want and you pick them up at the store all bagged and ready to go.  

I don't know how well I would like that as I like to pick my own items esp in the produce dept and meat case but everyone is different on this.  And not having to spend the TIME on this could be priceless.  Taking two grand kids shopping at ages 5 and 23 months is well beyond nerve wracking.  I can see paying a fee to have it DONE.  Altho day care for shoppers like IKEA does would be wonderful too!  

IT would have to be a pretty substantial difference for me in money or quality to make me leave a store and go home and wait for something.  I order plenty of things on line and buy and sell on ebay etc but as a buyer I WANT to handle the item and check out ALL of the features and quality.  

I don't like to think of taking away business from local stores either---even tho they might have a "Big Box" name on the outside on the inside your neighbors are the ones stocking the shelves and checking you out and managing the place.  

I feel perhaps more strongly about this since my income comes from one of these "Big Box" stores and I KNOW all of the people who work there LIVE in my area and DEPEND on the paychecks they get.  

What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?           What Discount Would Make You Buy Online vs. In-Store?

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 31 03:33:12 2012

When it comes to electronics or appliances there is no discount that is going to attract me to buy online. I want to be able to take the thing back if it doesn't work and I want to see the quality first hand. If I had a dime for every complaint I have heard from those that lost their money buying computers and other such items off Ebay and Amazon, I would be a wealthy.  



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.