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While smart shoppers were busy bidding for the best online Black Friday deals across various e-commerce portals, they were unaware that their online gadget behavior was being scrutinized. It’s an understandable fact that smart phone searches have a bigger say in our daily activities, right from finding physical store locations to checking out store working hours and comparing product prices while browsing through various product categories.

According to a recent mobile based survey, the IAB analyzed the attitude and online search behavior on basis of different age groups. It observed similar shopping patterns that were usually persistent but differed on the basis of age groups, with 18–34 year old shoppers surfacing as the most intrusive group when it comes to online “showrooming”.

The IAB broadly defines the word “showrooming” as an activity that involves making in-store mobile price comparisons and not in-store shopping which usually consists of online purchase. Using it as a point of reference, the IAB research revealed that most in-store mobile users, who compare prices online, are more inclined to purchase the product offline.


Nonetheless, the online search behavior and the final point of purchase completely depends on the respective age group. While checking active store hours and tracking store locations appeared to be the most common online activity among searchers, there’s more to it when it comes to online “showrooming”.

The IAB research further reveals that a majority of online US adults were found to be involved in product gazing activities with high chances of purchasing that same product from their nearby physical stores.

On the other hand, Millennials can be called the most intrusive showroomers in the true sense, as they use physical store products to confirm what they are actually looking to buy from other stores. According to the survey, Millennials prefer buying from offline stores, but they are also more likely to make a purchase using their smartphones as compared to the other age groups.


In terms of online shopping behavior, tablet users’ behavioral pattern is similar to that of the desktop users’. More information on this subject is available on the IAB‘s online website.

Due care needs to be taken before leveraging the above mentioned information, which has been made available purely on the basis of survey responses and not on the basis of actual sales transactions. While much can be said about the behavioral pattern, it’s the attitude that makes a big difference to the end result. And that, certainly differs with respect to the different age group.

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About The Author

Dave Thompson works at, a White Label Software + Services provider for online marketing agencies.