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Study reveals 40% of sales affected by ‘showrooming’ this Christmas

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8th Jan 2013
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The practice of ‘Showrooming’ – visiting retail stores to try products, but then using a mobile device to get the best price online – is gathering pace with new research revealing a significant number of Christmas sales were affected by the trend this year.

Foolproof’s survey of 1,000 UK adults found that 24% of shoppers ‘showroomed’ in the lead-up to Christmas 2012, with 40% saying they bought items from a competitor, either in-store or online, after comparing prices via their mobile when visiting a store.

According to the research, this 10% in sales ‘leakage’ from showrooming activities resulted in £500m of sales switched between retailers in the final weekend before Christmas alone. Unsurprisingly, the demographic most likely to showroom were found to be those aged between 18-39, compared to just 18% of shoppers over 40, the figures showed.

Peter Ballard, managing partner of Foolproof said: “Our research uncovers the true impact of showrooming on the UK High Street over the Xmas period. It shows that 1 in 10 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. In November, IDC estimated that 20% of the US adult population – 48m shoppers – would ‘showroom’ or use their smartphones whilst shopping in-store over Christmas whilst Aprimo’s survey of 2,000 US adults claimed one in five consumers is now showrooming.

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