THE BLOG
04/21/2014 10:35 pm ET | Updated Jun 21, 2014

Showrooming Happens, and It's Overrated

Most Amazon Customers Start and End at Amazon.com

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) released analysis that indicates that rather than looking for items at a physical store, then buying them online, most Amazon.com customers started shopping at the Amazon.com website.

80% of customers that made a purchase at Amazon did not shop first at a physical store for their most recent item (see chart).

Physical Retail Stores Where Amazon Customers Shopped First
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A significant percentage of Amazon buyers don't shop around at all. They start their shopping at Amazon.com and make their purchase at Amazon.com. Some buyers initiate their shopping in a physical store, and then buy from an online store, but this does not take place nearly as much as one might think - and it happens for a reason that should worry retailers even more than showrooming itself. Amazon appears to have built a following of loyal, committed customers that don't even start their shopping at conventional physical retailers anymore.

When Amazon buyers do their shopping online, generally they start at Amazon.com. 81% go straight to Amazon.com, while another 13% use a search engine, primarily Google to start their shopping, and only 6% start at another online retailer (see chart).

Where Amazon Customers Searched First
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At least for Amazon customers, Amazon itself has become the shopping search engine of choice. Amazon buyers start their shopping at Amazon.com almost seven times more often than they start at Google and fifteen times more often than they start at another online retailer like eBay or the website of a multi-channel retailer like Walmart. It's not a surprise that customers start shopping where they plan on buying, but online where there are very low barriers to shopping around, Amazon's apparent power is significant.

CIRP bases this analysis on our surveys of 600 Amazon.com customers: 300 who made a purchase at Amazon.com in the three-month period ending in February 2014, and a similar survey of 300 subjects in November 2013.

For additional information, please contact CIRP.