In-store shoppers likely to head online next time they buy: IBM

NEW YORK Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:17pm IST

Shoppers pass a clothing shop during the Boxing Day sales on Oxford Street in central London, December 26, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning/Files

Shoppers pass a clothing shop during the Boxing Day sales on Oxford Street in central London, December 26, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The overwhelming majority of shoppers made their last purchase in a store and not online, but far fewer are committed to do so the next time they buy something, according to a study released on Tuesday.

More than 80 percent of shoppers in the study from International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) last bought something at a store, but only half said they would go to a brick-and-mortar retailer next time.

The study showed both the importance and global reach of "showrooming," in which shoppers examine products in stores and then make their purchase online.

In China, 26 percent admitted to showrooming, compared with 13 percent in India and 7 percent in the United States, IBM said.

The study is the latest to underscore the importance of online and mobile shopping.

Thirty-five percent of the store shoppers surveyed around the world in November said that they were unsure whether they would shop at a store or online for their next purchase, according to IBM. Nine percent said that they would make their next purchase online.

Retailers that do not embrace the small but growing group of showroomers risk losing those shoppers to Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and other online-only competitors that often offer merchandise at lower prices.

"Where do you want to place your bets for the future?" Jill Puleri, the global retail leader for IBM Business Services, asked executives at the National Retail Federation conference in New York this week.

Nearly half of all online purchases resulted from showrooming, which is popular with younger shoppers - typically males - who tend to be more affluent than average, Puleri said.

"This is not the enemy, far from it," she said. "They are your best friends, your advocates."

While in-store transactions still make up the vast majority of sales, online purchases are increasing at a faster clip than those in stores.

Some retail leaders say chains are not quick enough to adapt to this trend.

J. Crew Chief Executive Officer Mickey Drexler scolded a panel at a Financo event on Monday for retail CEOs and other business leaders for not addressing the threat of Amazon during a discussion about how essential stores are for branding.

"How do you have a panel like this without mentioning Amazon?" Drexler asked the group, which included Coach Inc (COH.N) CEO Lew Frankfort and VF Corp CEO Eric Wiseman (VFC.N).

Of eight categories tracked in the IBM survey of 26,000 shoppers, the two most popular for online purchases were consumer electronics and luxury items, including jewelry and designer clothing.

Nearly 25 percent of Internet shoppers had intended to buy in the store but ultimately purchased online, primarily for price and convenience, IBM said. Retailers that only operate online account for one-third of purchases by showroomers, IBM said. (Reporting by Jessica Wohl in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Obama In India

Reuters Showcase

Australian Open

Australian Open

Serena avenges French Open loss to reach quarter-finals.  Full Article 

Miss Universe

Miss Universe

Miss Colombia is crowned Miss Universe for 2015.  Full Article 

SAG Awards

SAG Awards

'Birdman' wins top honor from actors in march toward Oscars.  Full Article 

Banking Revolution

Banking Revolution

India turns to corner shops, mobile phones for banking revolution.  Full Article 

Climate Change

Climate Change

U.S.-China climate deal does not put pressure on India, says Modi  Full Article 

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh charges opposition chief with instigating attack on bus  Full Article 

Box Office

Box Office

Eastwood's "American Sniper" continues as U.S. box office juggernaut   Full Article 

Boko Haram Fight

Boko Haram Fight

Nigeria repels suspected Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri city  Full Article 

Akshay Kumar's Latest

Akshay Kumar's Latest

"Baby" is a smartly written, well-acted film  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage