Attention shoppers: Showrooming meets webrooming

The Harris Poll finds that showrooming runs the other way too. Amazon appears to gain either way as does Walmart.

With the holiday shopping season running full bore---$2.29 billion on Cyber Monday alone according to Adobe---you're likely to hear a lot about "showrooming" and how brick-and-mortar retailers are combating it. Now apparently, there's "webrooming" too.

Showrooming is the act of browsing products in a physical store and buying online---most likely at Amazon. In 2012, showrooming was a big problem for retailers such as Best Buy. In 2013, these retailers moved to match prices and are generally being more aggressive against Amazon. Now the Harris Poll is finding that webrooming---the act of researching online and buying in a physical store---has an advantage in 2013.

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Now we'll skip through all the mumbo jumbo and just declare the obvious that it's all shopping no matter what sales channel you use. As Target CIO Beth Jacob said recently the days of worrying about what channel you sell through are dying quickly. The reality is whether it's mobile, Web or physical it's coming from the same wallet.

Nevertheless, the Harris Poll is worth noting. Among the key findings from a survey of 2,250 U.S. adults.

  • 46 percent of Americans have showroomed this holiday, up from 43 percent a year ago.
  • 69 percent of Americans have webroomed where they browse Amazon and then pick up goods at a Wal-Mart, Target or Best Buy.
  • Nine out of 10 shoppers that showroomed have also webroomed.
  • Walmart and Best Buy are the top retailers for consumers looking to check out goods in person.
  • Amazon is used the most for both webrooming and benefiting from showrooming. Fifty nine percent of respondents said they buy from Amazon after visiting a store.
  • Walmart is transitioning retail and online customers well. Harris noted:

Two-thirds (67%) of those webroomers who typically do their investigating at Walmart online say they usually go on to make their in-store purchases at a Walmart brick and mortar store.

Here's a look at the notable charts:

webroom 1
webroom 2
webroom 3