Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 - McCrindle Research

While retailers are concerned with the loss of shoppers to online stores, another threat to traditional retail outlets is customers using their smartphones while in-store to go online to compare prices, check reviews and consult with family and friends.

While this behavior is particularly prevalent among the younger generations, it is a broader trend, with many aged over 66 (the Builders generation) having engaged in this “showrooming”.

When asked whether they have ever used their smartphone or tablet device when out shopping to do a number of “showrooming” activities, Australians proved to be actively using their devices to save money:

  • Over 1 in 4 (26%) Australians have entered model numbers or item details to compare prices online.
  • 16% have used a scanner or barcode app to check whether a cheaper price is available.
  • 1 in 5 (21%) have accessed consumer blogs or discussions while out shopping for products or services.
  • 43% have taken a photo of an item to get the opinion of family or friends
  • Nearly a third (32%) have taken a photo of an item to see if they can find it, or a similar item, for cheaper online.

Generation Y = Savvy shoppers

Generation Y was particularly savvy when it came to using their devices in-store. Nearly half (46%) had used their device to enter model numbers or compare prices, 3 in 10 (31%) had used a scanner or barcode app to check whether a cheaper price was available, over 2 in 5 (42%) had accessed a consumer blog or discussion online while shopping, 3 in 5 (61%) had taken a photo of an item to get opinion from family or friends, and 48% had taken a photo to see if they could find a similar item for cheaper online! The majority of Generation Y will potentially (definitely, probably or perhaps) compare prices while shopping in-store (61%) this Christmas and take a photo with their smartphone to check online later (60%).

Cheapskate Christmas:

With 87% of Australians planning to spend the same or less than they did last Christmas, it’s no surprise that many showrooming behaviors look set to become commonplace during the festive retail rush. 2 in 5 (39%) Australians indicated it was possible they would use their smartphone or tablet to enter model numbers or compare prices online this Christmas, while nearly 1 in 3 (32%) would use a scanner or barcode app to check whether a cheaper price was available.

3 in 10 would access a consumer blog while shopping, while 46% would take a photo of an item to get opinion from family and friends and 43% would take a photo to see if they could find an item for cheaper online.

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McCrindle Research

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Our clients include some of our region’s largest multinationals, some of the nation’s best known brands, many government organisations and agencies, and some of Australia’s most recognised not for profits.
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Francesca Dalton

P: 02 8824 3422


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