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Research Results

Who looks in stores, then buys online

8 Jan 13

Who looks in stores, then buys online
Every 3 months 101,000 Kiwi adults view or try in-store then buy overseas online

About 15 in every 100 adult New Zealand shoppers with internet access are looking at items in stores – before buying online.


About seven in 100 are buying online from a different retailer than the one who showed them or let them try on items.


A new HorizonPoll survey of 2,425 New Zealanders nationwide finds that 14.6% of adults are indulging in what is known overseas as “showrooming”.  That equates to about 425,000 adult shoppers.


After visiting a store:


  • 5.6% of adults with internet access , bought online from the same retailer in New Zealand (about 159,000 people)


  •  5.9% bought online from a different retailer in New Zealand (about 168,000people), and


  • 3.1% bought from a different retailer overseas (88,000 people).


Overall, the survey finds 74.5% of adults with access to the internet are buying retail goods online in New Zealand, 41.1% overseas. Only 20.2% of adults with access don’t buy retail goods online.


Horizon Research Manager Grant McInman says the survey finds overall that more than 2.1 million adults in New Zealand with internet access are retail shopping online from local retailers.


In comments to Horizon, those shopping offshore say that they have little sympathy for local retailers who don’t compete on price.


Some retailers have reportedly considered charging a fee for trying on clothes in store.

Horizon says this might concern the 5.6% of adults who are viewing or trying items – then buying from the same retailer online later.


Survey question:

Some shoppers are said to go "showrooming": they visit stores to view products and services and try on items like clothes or shoes, then buy online from elsewhere, either in New Zealand or overseas.

In the past three months have you visited a store to view or try items, and then later bought them on line?


Yes - from the same retailer




Yes - from a different retailer




Yes - from a different retailer overseas








From where do you buy retail goods online, if at all?


New Zealand








Do not buy online




The “showrooming” survey was conducted between November 23 and December 5. Weighted to represent the adult population at the last census, the maximum margin of error, at a 95% confidence level, is +/- 2%. Some 87% of adult New Zealanders can access the internet.


Full survey results, which also examine views on the threshold at which GST and duties are charged on goods purchased overseas and imported, and how people would react if this caused shop closures and jobs losses in New Zealand, are available to research clients by contacting


Grant McInman

Manager, Horizon Research Ltd

Telephone: 021 076 2040