Showrooming – is it ethically wrong?


The rise in popularity of online shopping is understandable, given the numerous benefits and many reasons why customers are motivated to shop this way:

• Browse products more quickly
• Shop 24/7
• Access ‘lower prices’
• Increased convenience with the product being delivered to your door
• Greater availability
• Greater range of goods and services

However, the social aspects of shopping and having the tactile experience of handling and trying on goods before buying has led to a new phenomenon known as “showrooming”.

Showrooming is the practice of trying on in a retail store and then going online to buy the same product at a cheaper price. When Australians considered the statement “I think it’s wrong to get a shop assistant to show you something in-store and then go and buy it online”, 39% agreed and 29% disagreed. One in four Australians also said they use their smartphone to check online for a cheaper deal while they are out shopping.

However is it wrong to try in-store and then buy online?

This is the question posed by an article titled ‘The online shopping dilemma’.

So fellow shoppers, have you ever gone into a store and tried a piece of clothing on or maybe even went in to check out a PlayStation 3 game, decided you wanted it but didn’t want to pay the price the shop was asking for it?

Have you then gone online, found it cheaper and decided to buy it or did you always intend to buy it online because you already knew the price but wanted to check out the products handling qualities?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions we’d love to hear your experiences in the comments section below.

How do you feel about showrooming?

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