Survey: Showrooming affecting U.S. retail surveys

A key reason showrooming happens is because online retailers — who do not have the same overhead costs as brick-and-mortar stores — frequently offer lower prices. Retailers have cited showrooming as being costly to their bottom line due to the loss of the sale. Media reports have suggested this recent phenomenon as a reason retailers have discontinued certain products.

It is possible that some of those who showroomed during a typical week did not do so intentionally; that is, they did not purposefully go into the store intending to purchase an item later online, but ended up doing so for various reasons. Therefore, the 6% who indicate that they made their purchase online after first shopping in the store includes those who intended to do this as they began shopping, as well as those who may not have initially intended to do it.

A welcome sign for retailers, however, is that 54% of Americans shopped in a retail store, other than a grocery store, drugstore, or convenience store in the week before Gallup interviewed them. Of those who shopped in a retail store, the vast majority (83%) bought or intend to buy merchandise in a store.