EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2875 - August 22, 2012     3 of 4

Study: Online Discounts Can Lure Shoppers to Leave Stores

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How much of a discount would entice shoppers to leave a store and buy online? A study from GroupM Next shows 45% of customers shopping in-store at brick and mortar locations will walk out and complete their purchase online for a discount as low as 2.5%. The number jumps to 60% of shoppers who will leave and purchase a product online for a savings of 5%.

When discovering an online discount of 20%, a small percentage of shoppers, 13%, stay and complete their purchase in-store. However, nearly 10% of purchasers surveyed chose to complete their purchase in-store, no matter the price discount offered.

"Showrooming" is the new habit of consumers conducting price comparisons on a mobile device while in-store, and then leaving the store and completing their purchase online.

GroupM Next conducted the study, "Showrooming & The Price Of Keeping Buyers In-Store," to determine the influencing factors of showrooming and to identify the tipping point when the difference between an in-store and online price is large enough to lure shoppers out of stores.

The company surveyed 1,000 shoppers in the U.S. and presented them with multiple hypothetical showrooming scenarios for 10 products at varying price points spanning multiple retail categories.

The research showed that if the price difference in-store vs. online is more than $5.00, most customers will leave the store to buy online.

GroupM Next CEO Chris Copeland said, "Brands need to think about how showrooming can be used to their advantage to navigate would-be buyers to a checkout location, be it in-store or online."

The average showroomer profile includes females who are younger in age and make online purchases frequently. Alternately, the profile of the shopper who can be most swayed to stay and complete a purchase in-store is older male, 55% of whom buy online 1x per month. Customers who interact with an associate are 12.5% more likely to purchase in-store.

"Finding only a small price difference elsewhere using a mobile device is enough to entice a shopper to leave the store and buy online. By employing strategies to reach this massive audience segment, brands can significantly bolster their sales at the register or take advantage of their showrooming and effectively get the sale via a branded app or online property," said GroupM Next Director of Research Patrick Monteleone, Ph.D.

The study can be found on Scribd.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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