Showrooming doesn’t mean the end of brick-and-mortar retail


For brick-and-mortar retailers, smartphones are often viewed as the enemy. The fear is that consumers will find a better deal on their mobile device, treat the store as a mere “showroom” and then buy what they want online.

Last summer, Best Buy’s(S bby) then-interim CEO said the company’s “No. 1 priority” was beating the trend and, over the past couple of years, other big retailers have targeted the threat with friendlier, more Apple(s aapl)-like locations and better on-the-ground customer service efforts.

But a study released Thursday from Columbia Business School and loyalty management firm Aimia aims to “bust” what it calls “myths” surrounding showrooming.

The researchers surveyed 3,000 consumers in the U.S, the U.K and Canada and found that while a majority of shoppers said they are guilty of showrooming, mobile phones can actually improve the odds of an in-store purchase.

How rampant is showrooming?

“Our findings contradict many of the…

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