Internet Users Research Prices Online Before In-Store Shopping - eMarketer

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Internet Users Research Prices Online Before In-Store Shopping

Four in five internet users compare prices via digital channels

December 11, 2015

Webrooming, to one extent or another, is a significant factor for retailers. For many years, internet research has informed in-store purchases for a large segment of the population, and brick-and-mortar retail still accounts for the vast majority of all sales despite the ubiquitous availability of ecommerce options.

Digital Sources Used by US Internet Users to Compare Product Prices Prior to Purchasing In-Store, Oct 2015 (% of respondents)

According to Salesforce and The Harris Poll, about eight in 10 US internet users surveyed in October compared prices digitally before making a purchase in a store. And online-only retailers are the No. 1 source of product research that ultimately leads to an in-store purchase: 56% of internet users said they compared product prices on pure-play ecommerce sites before making a purchase in a store.

That was 5 points ahead of the share who compared prices on other retailer sites. In-store shoppers are more likely to have taken advantage of online-only resources than omnichannel options to inform themselves before heading to stores.

Brand sites were somewhat less popular, at 35%. Other research, conducted by Shotfarm in August, found that manufacturers’ websites had more accurate and complete information about products—though they appear to be less useful for pricing information.

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