Showrooming Is Real, Best Buy Is The Big Loser, And Amazon Is Eating Everyone’s Lunch

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.

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