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Convenience, Demos Drive CE In-Store Traffic: IAB Report

PHOENIX — A study of showrooming in CE retail stores found that convenience and live product displays are the two top drivers of brick-and-mortar traffic.

Price was ranked third in importance in a poll of 482 Internet-savvy CE shoppers, conducted last month for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) by Ipsos MediaCT.

In contrast, the top-three motivators for purchasing online are price, convenience and selection/availability.

More than a quarter (27 percent) of respondents said they visited a retail store over the past six months with the intention of trying out products before buying them online.

Among consumers who used their mobile devices to comparison shop while in showrooms, 42 percent ultimately made the purchase online while 30 percent bought the item in the store.

“It’s clear from the study’s results that showrooming is a multifaceted and increasingly sophisticated consumer behavior,” said Sherrill Mane, IAB’s research, analytics and measurement senior VP. “The implication for consumer electronics retailers is enormous — they will thrive more quickly when they execute a marketing strategy whose nexus is the synthesis of online, mobile and offline shopping experiences.”

Added Anna Bager, VP/general manager of IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, “More than ever mobile is the connective tissue in showrooming that is driving a more integrated shopping experience in the consumer electronics space. It has become an impactful ecosystem unto itself, with huge strategic implications for brands — while at the same time empowering consumers with more real-time information and choices in their online and offline shopping.”

The survey also found that digital ads heavily influence consumer behavior when shopping for CE. Half of those surveyed said digital ads motivated them to visit an online store, while 28 percent of respondents said digital ads inspired them to shop at a brick-and-mortar location. Among other findings:

• 65 percent of shoppers who use their mobile device in-store said it made them more likely to buy the product;

• those who used their mobile phones while shopping were more likely to make an unplanned purchase (32 percent in-store vs. 22 percent online);

• 42 percent of those who used a mobile device while in-store spent over $1,000 vs. 21 percent of mobile device owners who didn’t use their device in-store; and

• more than 75 percent of consumers did some form of online research, whether on a personal computer or mobile device, prior to going to a store, mainly to check prices, read reviews and look up product features.

The study, “Showrooming: Empowering Consumer Electronics Shoppers,” was released at the sixth IAB Annual Leadership Meeting: “Big Data & Big Ideas: Friends, Enemies, or Frenemies?”, held here at the Arizona Biltmore.

The full report is available at