Over a third of all ‘showroomers’ go on to buy from a competitor, finds new research

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A quarter of all UK shoppers used their mobile in-store to check the price elsewhere of a product they were about to buy in the run-up to Christmas 2013 and over a third of these ‘showroomers’ went on to buy from another brand, either in-store or online – a 22% increase on 2012, according to a new study from user experience design agency Foolproof.

More encouragingly for the high street 56% of shoppers who ‘showroomed’ went on to buy from that same retailer, either in-store or online.

Convenience appears to be one of the main drivers this Christmas with a surge in click and collect. A fifth of shoppers bought an item online for in-store collection with higher earners being 50% more likely to use the service than those on low incomes, the study found.

With a record amount of online shopping carried out in December, the clear winners on the high street this Christmas appear to be those with an integrated digital and in-store experience, said Foolproof.

Research highlights:

– 27% of all UK shoppers ‘showroomed’ in the lead-up to Christmas 2013
– 44% of showroomers say they bought from a competitor – either in-store or online – after comparing prices via their mobile in-store. A 22% increase on 2012
– 56% of showroomers bought from that retailer either in-store or online
– 16% of people say they went into a store just to check out something they planned to buy online
– 20% of shoppers used a click and collect service in the run up to Christmas 2013

Peter Ballard, Foolproof founding partner, said: “Christmas 2013 trading results show a clear divide between retailers who have invested – not just in digital – but in a multi-channel shopping experience and those who didn’t, or haven’t yet got it right.

“The way people shop is evolving and the high street is having to reinvent itself to keep up with consumer demand for new ways to shop. Retailers such as John Lewis and Next, who had good trading results, have embraced online as part of the shopping experience and not just a bolt-on extra. 

“Their success with click and collect this year for example shows in-store and digital teams working together towards creating a seamless shopping experience for consumers. The less successful retailers were clearly those whose digital experiences are less well integrated with other channels. 

It is encouraging to see some retailers connecting the digital and in-store experience. Other retailers need to follow their example and use this evidence to create a seamless user experience for their customers.

Whilst showrooming is still seen as a threat by some retailers on the high street, it also represents an opportunity for brands to make that all important connection with customers when in-store. 

Our research confirms that 2013 can be viewed as a seminal year for retail as it was the first true multi-channel Christmas.”