The proliferation of smartphones has caused a tectonic shift in consumer behavior. Consumers, armed with iPhones and Android devices, some even with tablets, have realized that the key to finding the best possible price is through mobile-enabled online research.  Showrooming is no longer limited to scanning prices in brick-and-mortar stores; today, product and price research—and comparison shopping—happens at home, during the commute, at the office, at dinner, up until the moment consumers turn in for the night.

Bill Tancer, General Manager of Global Research, Experian Marketing Services, from the 2014 Statistical Fact Book, “Chapter 4:  Retail and Catalog”

Showrooming behavior is becoming more and more commonplace—that is, customers using a phone or other mobile device in store to compare prices or look up other information on the products they’re browsing in the brick-and-mortar store.  Storeowners might feel concerned about this behavior, as it often drives customers away to seek the product online or in another store at a lower price.

However, the situation may not be as bleak as retailers fear.  The chart below breaks down consumer behavior after using a mobile device in store:SATURDAY STATS - PART 7 - Chart

As the chart shows, 19.1% choose not to buy the item after checking their phone, and an alarming 21.6% will buy the same item elsewhere if they can find it cheaper.  That comes out to losing a sale on 40.7% of all customers who open their mobile devices to price-compare or research.  It’s no wonder that retailers are concerned.

It is not insignificant, however, that more than a quarter of customers who check on an item on their device wind up purchasing the same item in store anyway.  In fact, 52.7% will purchase the item anyway, buy the item online with the same store, or use a voucher or online price to get a discount at the register—meaning a majority do choose to make the transaction with the store in question.


Our Saturday Stats come to you every week from the DMA 2014 Statistical Fact Book.  We’ll be sending up Saturday Stats every weekend until October 25, the beginning of the DMA2014 Annual Conference.  We hope to see you there!  To take a deeper dive into the Statistical Fact Book, click here for more information.