Study: Walmart and Best Buy lead for retail stores used for ‘showrooming’

Toronto -- As consumers continue to seek more convenient methods of shopping, through mobile and online, the potential for further sales erosion continues to threaten retailers, according to a new study by branding and design firm Shikatani Lacroix.

The report, “RE:STORE – Redefining Retail,” finds that 59% of U.S. shoppers “showroom” – or browse for products in store but then buy them online.

Walmart and Best Buy lead for retail stores used for “showrooming,” whereas Amazon.com dominates in online purchases. One-quarter of U.S. consumers who shop online rarely or never buy from a traditional retailer’s website – 45% of them are shopping at Amazon.com. This amounts to a potential retail sales leakage of about 15% (to as high as 42%) of all U.S. browsers going to an online retailer.

“This behavior spells trouble for a number of traditional retailers who will experience significant sales leakage if they don’t stem the flow of lost potential revenue to online retailers,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, president of Shikatani Lacroix.

Conducted by Hotspex, a research leader in emotional and behavioral science, the study also examines the emotional attributes consumers experience while shopping online versus shopping in store, and based on those emotions determines a relationship index of retailers – from highest emotional connection to most vulnerable to sales erosion.

At the top of the list is Amazon, which has the highest overall relationship index of all retailers. The brand elicits strong emotional response in the areas of trust and success, and has very strong satisfaction ratings. Walmart, on the other hand, has a much lower emotional valence. While its online relationship score is high in the mass merchandise category, its in-store experience significantly lags. Walmart’s retail personality is considered boring.