A new survey of UK consumers has charted the seemingly unstoppable rise of ‘showrooming’, the practice of using mobile phones to source cheaper prices for products found in-store, with 44 per cent of UK shoppers now admitting to it.
Compiled by EE the new research found that 20m Britons now regularly visit bricks and mortar stores solely to browse, using their phones to find cheaper deals online.
Moreover the trend is likely to continue for some time to come as demographically the trend is most pronounced among the young, with 53 per cent of 18-34 year olds actively showrooming whilst shopping.
Agata Laight, senior propositions manager for Connected Retail at EE, said: “Our research shows the practice of showrooming isn’t going away, but it also presents a significant omni-channel opportunity for retailers. John Lewis has turned the trend to its advantage by introducing a mobile app that encourages customers to use their device to get additional information on products in-store, by providing free Wi-Fi and by offering price promises. By doing this, John Lewis is building loyalty with its customers so they’re more likely to buy from them, whether in-store or online. As a result, mobile now accounts for 40% of their customer traffic.”
The shift to digital is reflected by public opinion with 77 per cent of those quizzed professing to prefer browsing online thanks to the greater product selections whilst a whopping 88 per cent always research the best deals before buying anything.