C’mon, admit it. You do it. You visit Best Buy, Target, WalMart, and the like, and before picking that Blue-ray player off the shelf you fire up your smartphone and surreptitiously compare the price online. If, say, Amazon has it for less, you order it (and if you’re a Prime member you get free shipping) while the retailer whose oxygen you’ve been breathing earns nothing.
It’s every shopper for himself. A recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive illustrates the impact that so-called “showrooming,” or visiting a brick and mortar store to examine a product before purchasing it elsewhere online, is having on physical retailers. It seems you aren’t the only one ruthlessly checking prices and rewarding etailers – primarily Amazon, which has subsisted on razor-thin margins for its entire 17-year-lifespan – for lower prices.