Retailers threatened by 'showrooming', as 10 per cent of customers buy from competitors in-store

Almost a third of shoppers also compare competitors’ prices
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Retailers are having to compete with the growing threat of ‘showrooming’, as one in ten customers admit to buying from a competitor while in-store.

The statistic, which comes in research from Omnico, shows that 16-24 year old shoppers are the most prevalent when it comes to jumping ship, with 15 per cent purchasing elsewhere while still in the shop.

The research also found that among the 51 per cent of the UK that own smartphones, a large portion uses their phones to help them shop, with almost a third (29 per cent) comparing prices online and almost a quarter (23 per cent) looking at product reviews to help them decide. 15 per cent check the store’s own website to compare prices and check stock.

The cities in which showrooming was most widespread were Belfast, Liverpool and London, with 39 per cent of Belfast shoppers comparing prices online in-store, followed by 30 per cent of those in Liverpool and 28 per cent of consumers in London.

“Showrooming is here to stay, whether retailers like it or not,” said Steve Thomas, Chief Technology Officer at Omnico.

“Some retailers try to stop it, by ignoring consumers’ desire for free Wi-Fi or even blocking mobile signals, but this is a short sighted view. Instead, it can be embraced, by offering assisted selling and integrating their mobile and web channels to offer genuine omni-channel retail.”

“Talking to both retailers and consumers, we’ve found that there’s a lack of focus on omni-channel retail so far. This means that because channels aren’t joined up properly, consumers are using their smartphones to join up channels their own way – and this means often going to retailers’ competitors to get advice and find the best deal.”

Picture courtesy of Omnico

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