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How Amazon Takes Customers From Walmart, Target, and Costco

A new study shows that about 3/4 of shoppers who visit Walmart, Target, and Costco shop on Amazon within 24 hours.

Major retailers including Walmart (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report and Target (TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report have substantial opportunities to grow the sales if they could stop customers from showrooming, according to a new report from Numerator. 

Showrooming is the practice of consumers visiting a brick-and-mortar retailer to look at an item before then buying it online.

The study examined "individuals who shopped in-store at a brick-and-mortar location and then supplemented with an Amazon order within the same day or the day immediately following," according to the report. The research was done using the first nine months of 2021 to avoid any "holiday-specific shopping swings."

Huge Opportunities for Walmart and Target

Showrooming not only means a loss of sales, it can also be a drain on resources. If for example, a customer ties up a Target associate asking questions about a big-ticket electronic item they then buy on Amazon, that's time the employee could have spent with another customer.

"Each retailer analyzed has the opportunity for increased dollar sales if they capture these 'within-a-day' purchases while consumers are still in their store," the study found. Roughly three-quarters of all customers for the other three retailers also shop with Amazon (76% of Walmart shoppers, 77% of Target shoppers, 75% of Costco shoppers).

Walmart customers are the most likely to also make an Amazon purchase within 24 hours of visiting one of the brick-and-mortar chain's physical stores. Just over half (53%) of Walmart shoppers bought something on Amazon within a day of shopping in-store at Walmart while only 38% of Costco and Target customers did that.  

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Target, however, had the largest opportunity to capture sales lost to Amazon with a 24-hour period having had the customer in its store. "By preventing leaked same-day trips to Amazon, Target has the potential to capture 10.3% in incremental sales, followed by Walmart (+7.2%) and Costco (+4.7%)," the report showed.

Walmart Target Costco chart_122021

What's Driving Customers to Amazon?

Consumers had a number of different reasons for ordering items from Amazon despite having recently been inside a Walmart, Target, or Costco. These include:

  • 30% of Walmart shoppers and 24% of Target shoppers ordered from Amazon because the product they wanted was not available in the store they visited.

  • About a third (30%) of both Target and Walmart shoppers cited "ease of delivery" as to why they ordered from Amazon despite being in a physical store.

  • Lower prices on Amazon was the reason named by 22% of Walmart shoppers and 20% of Target shoppers.

"Nearly 2-in-5 consumers (39%) said Walmart should focus on product availability, 14 points higher than those who said the same for Target (25%)," Numerator reported." "Offering lower prices was the top recommendation from Target shoppers (39%), compared to 36% of Walmart shoppers. Improving the in-store experience represented the largest gap (21 points) between Walmart and Target shoppers, with nearly 1 in 3 Walmart shoppers (28%) making this request, compared to 7% of Target shoppers.

Numerator surveyed more than 1,000 verified Target and Walmart customers who made a following verified Amazon purchase to create the report.