The rise of pure-play online retailers presents a challenge to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers that can be simultaneously viewed as both curse and blessing.
Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers feel they are not competing on a level playing field. “Showrooming” (shoppers go to the store to view/try product, then purchase online) is an example of where brick-and-mortar retailers feel they are paying the cost of showrooming, while online retailers reap the greatest rewards.
A recent Pew Study (Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project) focused on the holiday shopping of smartphone owners in the U.S. According to the study, nearly 1 in 5 smartphone holiday shoppers reported showrooming during the course of their holiday.
Adding fuel to the fire, Amazon launched its “price checker” smartphone app last November. Price checker incentifies shoppers to make a purchase on Amazon while they are in a store, providing a $5 discount on their order.