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shutterstock_110370773A new study from user experience design agency Foolproof shows the extent to which high street retailers are losing out to digital.

The research shows that over a quarter of all UK shoppers used their mobile in-store to check the price elsewhere of a product they were about to buy, in the run-up to Christmas 2013. Over a third of these “showroomers” went on to buy from another brand, either in-store or online – a 22% increase on 2012.

More encouragingly for the high street 56% of shoppers who “showroomed” went on to buy from that same retailer, either in-store or online.

Convenience appears to be one of the main drivers this Christmas with a surge in Click-and-Collect. 20% of shoppers bought an item online for in-store collection with higher earners being 50% more likely to use the service than those on low incomes.

With a record amount of online shopping carried out in December, the clear winners on the high street this Christmas appear to be those with an integrated digital and in-store experience.

Research highlights:

– 27% of all UK shoppers ‘showroomed’ in the lead-up to Christmas 2013.
– 44% of showroomers say they bought from a competitor – either in-store or online – after comparing prices via their mobile in-store. A 22% increase on 2012.
– 56% of showroomers bought from that retailer either in-store or online.
– 16% of people say they went into a store just to check out something they planned to buy online.
– 20% of shoppers used a Click-and-Collect service in the run up to Christmas 2013.

Peter Ballard, Foolproof Founding Partner said: ‘Christmas 2013 trading results show a clear divide between retailers who have invested – not just in digital – but in a multichannel shopping experience and those who didn’t, or haven’t yet got it right.

‘The way people shop is evolving and the high street is having to reinvent itself to keep up with consumer demand for new ways to shop. Retailers such as John Lewis and Next, who had good trading results, have embraced online as part of the shopping experience and not just a bolt-on extra.

‘Their success with Click-and-Collect this year for example shows in-store and digital teams working together towards creating a seamless shopping experience for consumers. The less successful retailers were clearly those whose digital experiences are less well integrated with other channels.

‘It is encouraging to see some retailers connecting the digital and in-store experience. Other retailers need to follow their example and use this evidence to create a seamless user experience for their customers.

‘While showrooming is still seen as a threat by some retailers on the high street, it also represents an opportunity for brands to make that all important connection with customers when in-store.

Our research confirms that 2013 can be viewed as a seminal year for retail as it was the first true multichannel Christmas.’

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