'Showrooming' increases as 44% of UK consumers use mobiles to find best deals while in-store.

Almost half of British consumers regularly practice ‘showrooming’, using mobile devices to check for the best prices in-store, according to new research by EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company. The research shows over 20 million consumers (equivalent to 44% of total shoppers) now visit physical stores to browse products while using mobile devices to find the best deals online.

The findings also show that consumers feel let down by limited product availability in shops, as 77% of people prefer to browse product ranges online rather than in retailers’ physical shops. People now prefer to buy products online where possible, and 88% always research the best deals online before they buy anything.

London is the UK’s most active location for showrooming, with 51% of residents admitting to the practice. Demographically, the trend is most popular with young people - 53% of 18 to 34 year olds say they showroom while out shopping.

To help retailers turn showrooming to their advantage, EE now provides a fully managed branded public WiFi service in-store as part of its Connected Retail proposition.

Agata Laight, senior propositions manager for Connected Retail at EE, said: “Our research shows the practice of showrooming isn’t going away, but it also presents a significant omni-channel opportunity for retailers. John Lewis has turned the trend to its advantage by introducing a mobile app that encourages customers to use their device to get additional information on products in-store, by providing free WiFi and by offering price promises. By doing this, John Lewis is building loyalty with its customers so they’re more likely to buy from them, whether in-store or online. As a result, mobile now accounts for 40% of their customer traffic.”

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Notes to editors

About the research: Online survey of 2,000 UK consumers conducted by Vision Critical during March 2014.

“Over 20 million showrooming” statistic (22,079,552 people) = total percentage of showroomers (44%) divided by total number of shoppers (50 million). Number of shoppers is based on a UK adult population (over 18 years old) of 50,180,800 according to ONS Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - Mid 2012:

For more information, please contact the EE Business press team:

Emily Fingland t: 02075443735 e:

Paula Betham t: 020 3617 8463 e:

About EE

EE is the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers, businesses, government and the wholesale market. EE has approximately 15,000 employees and 550 retail stores, and serves more than 30 million customers across its mobile, fixed and wholesale businesses.

EE runs the UK's biggest, fastest and most reliable mobile network, pioneering the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in October 2012. EE's 4G coverage today reaches more than 70% of the UK population. EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99% of the population while 3G reaches 98%. EE's superfast fibre broadband service covers 54% of the UK population, and ADSL broadband service covers 98.7% of the population.

In the last few years, EE has received extensive independent recognition, including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®, Best Network at the 2014 Mobile News Awards, Fastest Network at the 2013 uSwitch Awards, Best Network at the 2013 Mobile Choice Consumer Awards and What Mobile Awards, Network Innovation at the 2013 Recombu Awards and Best Business Network at the 2013 Mobile Industry Awards.

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