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The Showrooming Effect: here to stay?

You're in a store, browsing. You find something you like. Maybe you try it on. Maybe you don't even take it off the rack. Instead, you reach for your phone and find the same item online for less. You can even buy it right then and there. In the store. From your phone. smartphone-shop.jpg

Sound familiar? If so, you're one of the 82 percent of smartphone users who browses for products in stores, but then purchases via mobile — theoretically for a cheaper price and more than likely via, the fastest growing online retailer in the U.S.

According to NY-based think tank L2, this practice even has a name. It's called showrooming. And it's on the rise.Naturally, brick and mortar shops are none to pleased about this. And they're doing what they can to fight it:

Target, a Deal Divas staple, is rolling out QR codes on toys so shoppers can scan the code and make the purchase discretely on their cell phones while they continue throughout the store. This just in time for holiday shopping!

Walmart is offering same-day delivery service to compete with online reltailers like Amazon, and Toys R Us and Best Buy are introducing their own tablet apps.

And according to the study, stores that have embraced attracting online customers are seeing growth, while in-store only retailers have begun to see a flat or downward trend in revenue. Who's mastering this new world of online buying? Macy's. Followed by Nordstrom's and Victoria's Secret.

Who's not? Well, check out this video.

The moral of this story? If customers are going to insist on using the interwebs to do their shopping, stores are going to try to capture your attention by offering you apps, ease and competitive services to online retailers.

Experts at L2 predict this may have a showrooming effect on retail stores, where more money and attention will be invested online, while in-person, real-life shopping will fall by the wayside, existing only so customers can see products in person or try on clothes to see how they look off the hanger.

What do you think, fellow divas? Ever see something in a store and then find it for cheaper on the internet while you're still perusing? Does any of this make you more likely to use your cell while shopping? Or do you hate the idea? Leave us your thoughts in the comments. I'll read it on my smartphone...

- Deal Diva Marissa

(photo: Business News Daily)