PriceGrabber Sees 'Showrooming' Effect On Black Friday

PriceGrabber-AAmong the most long-lived and popular of online price comparison sites, PriceGrabber says its logs of digital activity over the Thanksgiving weekend suggested considerable in-store lookups coming from devices. Mobile traffic to the site from tablets and smartphones made up 27% of all activity between Thanksgiving and the following “Cyber” Monday. Mobile traffic was up a formidable 116% over last year for the same period, PriceGrabber reported.

But while Cyber Monday represented the height of activity for overall traffic, it was the big in-store day that translated to mobile use. In its statement, the company says: “It is worth noting that on Black Friday, PriceGrabber saw significantly more mobile traffic than on Cyber Monday. Just as interesting, however, is that while clearly there was significant "showrooming" going on in-store via mobile devices, the sales completion rate via mobile stayed about the same throughout the weekend. The metric suggests that some showroomers at least were converting to buyers on their devices.

And the category data also suggests the mobile effect will only be compounded by more people having a wider range of devices after this holiday season. Tablets and e-readers saw an 81% increase in user lookups this year. And it may prove to be a good holiday for the Android platform, as the company tablets from Dell, Samsung, ASUS and Google are among the most active along with the iPad. Smartphones also saw a 60% increase in interest.

PriceGrabber claims to see 23 million unique shoppers to its sites each month. Overall, the company saw a 14% growth in traffic this Thanksgiving shopping cycle over 2011.  

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