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One in 10 shoppers has bought from a retail website while standing in another retailer’s store: study

showroomingBy        

One in 10 shoppers have bought a product from a retailer’s website while standing in another retailer’s store, a new study shows today.

Omnico questioned 1,344 UK consumers and found that among the younger age group some 15% of 16-24-year-old had used their phones to buy elsewhere.

Almost a third (29%) of shoppers say they’ve used their smartphone to compare prices with other retailers’ websites while 23% say they look at product reviews from the store to help them make a decision. And 15% say they use their phone to check the retailer’s own website to compare prices or for stock availability.

But, says Omnico, this is simply what happens when sales 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,” said Steve Thomas, chief technology officer at the Omnico Group, which advises businesses on developing a complete retail experience.

He says that with 51% of UK shoppers now owning a smartphone, and 9.5% of online sales made online, according to the ONS, the use of such devices in stores will become more widespread.

“Showrooming is here to stay, whether retailers like it or not,” he said. “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. Yes, price is very important, but there are many other factors that encourage loyalty to a brand and omni-channel, such as convenience and quality of service.”

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