EE claims 41 per cent of shoppers use phones to find best deals whilst in-store

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The network describes the process as showrooming, with it being most common in 18 to 34-year-olds

New research from EE reveals that shoppers have increasingly turned to their phones to find better prices whilst shopping in-store.

In the research, which had an online sample of 2,000 people, the network describes the practice as ‘showrooming.’

EE claims that 74 per cent of those surveyed prefer to browse online rather than look in a retailers’ store. Around 79 per cent research the best deals online before shopping, whilst 36 per cent prefer to shop online where possible.

The practice is most common amongst 18 to 34-year-olds, with 58 per cent of that age bracket admitting to showrooming. The most common app for showrooming is Amazon, which 82 per cent of those surveyed admitted to using. Around 54 per cent use eBay, whilst 28 per cent use Tesco.

EE also claims that 43 per cent prefer to shop in-store rather than online because it’s quicker than waiting for an item to be delivered. 56 per cent said they’d shop in-store more frequently if retailers offered price-matching deals.

EE head of corporate products Jeremy Spencer 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.”

EE has launched a new product called 4G  Public WiFi In A Box to help businesses lose fewer customers from showrooming. The plug-and-play product provides small businesses with 4G in-store WiFi.

“Additionally, providing tablets for customers to use in-store allows people to browse online product ranges, helping to keep purchases in-store,” said Spencer.

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