Window Shopping

18 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2014

See all articles by Oz Shy

Oz Shy

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Date Written: January 4, 2014


"Window shopping" and "showrooming" refer to the activity in which potential buyers visit a brick-and-mortar store to examine a product but end up either not buying it or buying the product from an online retailer. This paper analyzes potential buyers who differ in their preference for after-sale service that is not offered by online retailers. Making a trip to the brick-and-mortar store is costly; however, it has the advantage of mitigating the uncertainty as to whether the product will suit the buyer's needs. Window shopping enhances the walk-in store's profit and lowers aggregate consumer surplus and total welfare.

Keywords: window shopping, showrooming, brick-and-mortar stores, online shopping, online retailers, virtual stores, bricks and clicks

JEL Classification: L1, L8, G21

Suggested Citation

Shy, Oz, Window Shopping (January 4, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Oz Shy (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta ( email )

1000 Peachtree Street N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309-4470
United States

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