Consumers turn to ‘showrooming’ over Christmas

A quarter of all UK shoppers used their mobile in a store to compare prices elsewhere in the run-up to Christmas, research finds.

According to a study of 1,000 consumers by design agency Foolproof, some 40 per cent say they bought elsewhere as a direct result of the practice, known as ‘showrooming’.

More than two thirds (39 per cent) of 18-39 year olds surveyed say that they actively engaged in showrooming over the festive period, compared to just 18 per cent of shoppers over the age of 40.

A fifth of survey respondents say that they went into a store just to check out something they planned to buy online.

Peter Ballard, managing partner of Foolproof says, ‘Our research uncovers the true impact of showrooming on the UK high street over the Christmas period. It shows that one in ten shoppers switched purchases from one retailer to another as a direct result of showrooming. Or put another way, half a billion pounds of business walked out of the door to a competitor.

‘The age profile data is especially interesting, with younger, more smart-phone savvy shoppers being far more active showroomers than the older generation. This suggests that showrooming is here to stay, and set to grow. The high street needs to find ways of accommodating and embracing showrooming as part of the modern-day shopping process.’

Ballard adds that businesses should think about offering price-matching policies, offering a checkout and delivery experience that is slicker than going elsewhere, and a ‘better integration of online and offline customer experiences’.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.