"Showrooming” is when a potential customer examines a product in a brick and mortar retail store, but then purchases that product online—where it may be cheaper (with a possible exemption from sales tax). The New York (NY) Times “Media Decoder” blog explained “showrooming” on December 4, 2011, crediting an October survey by the Codex Group, a book market research and consulting company.
“Showrooming” has been used in the book industry, but has occurred mostly in the consumer electronics industry. The opposite phenomenon is called “reverse showrooming.”
Showrooming is the act of examining merchandise in a brick and mortar retail store without purchasing it there, then shopping online to find a lower price for the same item. Online stores often offer lower prices than brick and mortar stores because they do not have the overhead cost. Showrooming can be costly to the retailers, not only in the loss of the sale, but also due to damage caused to the store’s floor samples of a product.
v. To use a retail store to view and research a product and then purchase the product for less money online.
Definition - What does Showrooming mean?
Showrooming is when a shopper visits a store to check out a product but then purchases the product online from home. This occurs because, while many people still prefer seeing and touching the merchandise they buy, many items are available at lower prices through online vendors. As such, local stores essentially become showrooms for online shoppers.
New York (NY) Times—Media Decoder
December 4, 2011, 10:36 pm
Book Shopping in Stores, Then Buying Online
By JULIE BOSMAN
Bookstore owners everywhere have a lurking suspicion: that the customers who type into their smartphones while browsing in the store, and then leave, are planning to buy the books online later — probably at a steep discount from the bookstores’ archrival, Amazon.com.
Now a survey has confirmed that the practice, known among booksellers as showrooming, is not a figment of their imaginations. According to the survey, conducted in October by the Codex Group, a book market research and consulting company, 24 percent of people who said they had bought books from an online retailer in the last month also said they had seen the book in a brick-and-mortar bookstore first.
The Wall Street Journal
BUSINESS Updated April 11, 2012, 5:38 p.m. ET.
Can Retailers Halt ‘Showrooming’?
Stores Test New Services, Selection; It’s About Price
By ANN ZIMMERMAN
Shoppers who scope out merchandise in stores but buy on rivals’ websites, usually at a lower price, have become the bête noire of many big-box retailers.
The trend, known as “showrooming,” hurts the bottom lines of traditional stores while benefiting online-only retailers such as Amazon.com Inc., which have the advantage of lower overhead costs and mostly can skirt the collection of sales tax.
Will ‘showrooming’ kill businesses?
By Bob Greene, CNN Contributor
updated 10:22 AM EDT, Sun June 17, 2012
It is a relatively new phenomenon. Among retail merchants—owners of stores both small and large—it has a name:
No one showrooms by choice.
And it represents a potential sea change in American life. Its implications are vast.
As described in an article by reporter Amy Zimmerman in the Wall Street Journal, showrooming is “when shoppers come into a store to see a product in person, only to buy it from a rival online, frequently at a lower price.”
This Chart Shows Why Best Buy Should Be Particularly Terrified Of ‘Showrooming’
Kim Bhasin|Jun. 25, 2012, 2:13 PM
Brick-and-mortar retailers are scared of being reduced to a “showroom” where shoppers go to try items out before going online to make the final purchase. Some feel that the showrooming panic is totally overblown, but there’s one segment of retailers that’s particularly affected.
Consumer electronics retailers are experiencing more showrooming than any other category by far.
Investing | 7/05/2012 @ 11:56AM
How Best Buy Can Beat Showrooming
Matt Schifrin, Forbes Staff
I have a suggestion for Best Buy and other retailers losing out to showrooming and online retailers like Amazon. Improve your “Price-Match Guarantee.” Currently Best Buy’s stated policy is that they will match the price on a product if you can find it cheaper from a local retail competitor’s store. However this hollow guarantee specifically excludes online retailers and competitor’s web site prices. So you are pretty much limited to Joe’s appliance store down the road, if such stores even exist anymore.
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