New research from EE reveals 41% of shoppers are using their mobile devices to check for better prices while in-store, often referred to as ‘showrooming’. EE suggests 41% is close to 22 million UK shoppers.

It is understandable that shoppers are looking for the best price before purchasing. The EE research shows over three quarters (79%) of shoppers research the best deals before buying anything. The threat to retailers is losing sales to the competition.

Showrooming activity differs across the country with London (47%) being the highest, followed by Newcastle.

ee showrooming cities

The trend is most popular with younger people – 58 per cent of 18 to 34 year olds say they showroom while out shopping.

The most popular app used for comparison is Amazon – with more than three quarters (82%) of shoppers saying they use the app to look for better prices online. The next most used app was eBay (54%) followed by Tesco (28%).

Christmas is the busiest shopping time of the year. Last minute shopping and delayed delivery time’s means more people shop in store, retailers need to make sure they purchase in-store from them when they are there.

One way retailers can combat this is offering a price match service. Whilst some of the larger retailers such as John Lewis do this, they do not communicate this very well on their mobile website and they do not price match against online only business such as Amazon.

Jeremy Spencer, Head of Corporate Products at EE, said: “The practice of showrooming isn’t going away. It’s understandable that the threat of showrooming preys on retailers’ minds, particularly during such an important shopping season as Christmas. However, retailers actually have a significant opportunity to both engage and retain showrooming customers. Encouraging customers to look up additional information on products in-store using free Wi-Fi, offering a mobile app with digital loyalty schemes and, as our research indicates, offering to match prices found online can not only prevent showrooming in the short term, but can help keep customers coming back. Additionally, providing tablets for customers to use in-store allows people to browse online product ranges, helping to keep purchases in-store.”

Tobias Matthews

Tobias Matthews


Writer at Fourth Source.